Other nations must help in peace talks PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 August 2011 13:10

By MENARDO WENCESLAO

There seems to be an overwhelming and sustained support being given by the international community in resolving the conflict in Mindanao, not in terms of military intervention, but development aid.  Despite this however, some trigger happy elements oftentimes disrupt the atmosphere of peace that only create a deeper cleavage between the separatist forces and the government.  Furthermore encounters, no matter how isolated, threatens the peace negotiation between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the government.

The International Monitoring Teams have so far been successful in mollifying protagonists.  We thank them for not only in their intervention not only in armed confrontation similar to what happened recently in Maguindanao, but we are also grateful for their role as facilitator in the peace negotiation.

Moreover, we cannot ignore the fact that despite the mediation of Malaysia , the MILF remains resolute in their separatist agenda.  Territorial integrity on the Philippines, we believe, cannot be compromised and this is what causes the stalemate in the peace talks.  Malaysia may become weary over this protracted talks and mediation. 

Maybe it is about time that the government and the MILF consider Sweden , known for its expertise in mediation, come in and participate as active facilitator.  Japan has volunteered to help but only in areas where they can contribute to rehabilitation and development.  Already the United States and the European Community of nations have put in immense assistance which is too difficult to quantify.  While these are solutions that could lead to peace, this process can take a millennium.

The way to a stable and lasting peace starts with a peace agreement.  Since these nations are enmeshed and are committed to help in the development of Mindanao and specifically the areas of conflict it might be worthwhile for Malaysia to invite these countries to be actively involve in mediation and facilitation of the peace talks. 

This way, it will be more transparent.  It can be recalled that the late MILF Chairman, Hashim Salamat, personally wrote Pres. George Bush to help intervene in the conflict that besiege Central Mindanao then.  Bush responded but not in terms of directly getting involved in mediation but, as we must have observed, the US opted to assist in rehabilitation and development and capacity building efforts instead.

It is about time Malaysia admits the participation of Sweden, Japan , Europe and the US in the facilitation process.  After all, their goal is similar.  Who knows?  Many minds do peace work.