June 29, 2012 News: The Switzerland-based Geneva Call lauded the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on its implementation of its Deed of Commitment for adherence to a total ban on anti-personnel mines and cooperation in mine actions.
Madame Elizabeth Decrey-Warner, Geneva Call President, made this citation during her recent meeting with Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Chairman of the MILF Central Committee, at Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.
Also present during their meeting were Chris Rush, Senior Program Officer of Geneva Call, and Senior Members of MILF Central Committee and officials of MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH).
“The cooperation and support of MILF in the implementation of its Deed of Commitment have been consistently commendable. We can really say that it is a good example of engagement with a non-state actor,” Madame Elizabeth said.
The President also congratulated MILF for having produce and published a Code of Conduct for the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), the military organ of MILF, which is totally in conformity with established international humanitarian laws (IHL) and human rights laws.
The mini brochure of the BIAF General Order Number 3 produced by the BIAF Chief of Staff Sammy Al Mansur detailing policies and instructions in compliance with Islamic rules of engagement and IHL was hailed by the Geneva Call.
Madame Elizabeth pointed out that the engagement with the MILF is good subject of research work on engagement with non-state actors particularly on the campaign against land mines.
Chairman Murad updated the Geneva Call highest-ranking officials of the status of the current peace talks between the MILF and the Government of the Philippines.
Murad reiterated the full commitment of MILF to its Deed of Commitment as well as to IHL and human rights laws. He also invited the Geneva Call to grace the Bangsamoro Leaders Assembly being spearheaded by MILF at Camp Darapanan on July 6-9, 2012.
Prof Abhoud Syed Lingga, Executive Director of the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies and a member of the MILF Peace Negotiating Panel, during the meeting talked on some training to be undertaken by the Geneva Call and IBS for BIAF Base Commands and General Staff on the MILF Deed of Commitment, BIAF Code of Conduct and General Orders, and workshops and advocacy campaigns on IHL.
Geneva Call is a neutral and impartial humanitarian organization dedicated to engaging armed non-State actors (NSAs) towards compliance with the norms of international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (IHRL). The organization focuses on NSAs that operate outside effective State control.
To date, in Burundi, India, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar/Burma, the Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, and Western Sahara 42 NSAs have signed the Deed of Commitment banning AP mines. Overall, signatory NSAs are abiding to the core prohibitions on the use, production, acquisition and transfer of AP mines. Most signatories are also undertaking humanitarian mine action activities such as demining, stockpile destruction, mine risk education and victim assistance, often collaborating with humanitarian organizations.
The MILF is one of the pioneering signatories to the Deed of Commitment with the Geneva Call.