August 28, 2012 News: An expert on normalization will arrive in Manila and then to Mindanao during the last week of this month to conduct a review on ways to approach normalization in conflict situation especially when the parties have already signed an agreement.
The expert, Luc Chounet Cambas, who has worked in Afghanistan, Indonesia, the Sudan, and other conflict areas, will meet with various actors to get a portrait of the situation.
In their July 6-8, 2012 meeting in Kuala Lumpur, the MILF peace panel had informed their counterpart from the government that they will avail of the advice of foreign expert on normalization when this issue is raised on the negotiating table.
Cambas was educated at the University La Sorbonne Paris I, M. Phil (DEA) in African Studies (1996); School of African and Asian Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK (1995); Institute for Political Studies, IEP (“Sciences‐Po”), Lyon, France, BA in political science and international relations (1994), and University degree in Middle‐Eastern studies (1994).
Since January 2012, he is working for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HDC) as peace process policy support: main editor for a mediation handbook for an African regional organization; provision of thematic advice (ceasefire, disarmament & reintegration, violence reduction).
Normalization, which other people or experts refer to as DDR (demilitarization, demobilization, and reintegration), will be part of the agenda of the GPH and MILF peace panels’ discussion.
However, the MILF has time and again expressed discomfort with the term DDR, saying it smacks of surrender and mass confiscation of firearms. This sentiment was lengthily discussed during a forum in Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao in September 2006.
In that forum, no less than Sweden’s Ambassador-at-large Lena Sundh and Swedish Ambassador to the Philippines Annika Markovic were the main discussants. They also officially informed the MILF that their government is sending a 10-all women contingent to the International Monitoring Team (IMT). But this decision did not push through when there was a change of government in Sweden.