In Photo-Sitting at the presidential table Mr. Alain Detetroz, Country Representative of Geneva Call

Geneva Call launches ‘Conflict has Rules too’ Campaign Project

Cotabato City - The Geneva Call represented by Mr. Alain Detetroz, Country Representative to the Philippines launched “Conflict Has Rules too” Campaign Project on October 22, 2018 at the Pavillion Hall of Pagana Native Restaurant, Cotabato City. 

The launch aims to introduce the program to give understanding and send the message to the people in the community that in times of different conflict especially in war zone areas, the rules of conflict must be recognized and respected by the armed groups whether it is from the government or rebel groups in securing and protecting civilians. 

The Geneva Call developed and ratified the Geneva Convention which regulates policy that has been signed by the government as a Non-state project. 

The program concerns are on saving lives of children as primary victims of war, on gender and sexual violence where in other countries it has become a bigger issue for them. 

It also pushes to give respect to the medical mission roles.  

Mr. Detetroz says that in the context of conflict resolution, “we give space or seat for women as we recognize their role on the peace process because we believed that when they belong to that circle, the peace process becomes a whole.” 

He clarified that it is the International Humanitarian law (IHL) that gives protection to the displaced people and prohibiting forced displacement, protecting the medical care both for troops who will be wounded in the zone of war because they deserve it, prohibiting gender and sexual-based violence and protecting the cultural heritage of a state or country, Including protecting children and prohibiting the use of child soldiers, protecting schools and universities and banning an anti-personal mines. 

“On how do they conduct it? It is through humanitarian dialogue in different states, advocacy and distributing educational campaign materials and now, including the social media posting as part of tool in disseminating accurate information,” he added. 

Detetroz disclosed that for the past many years, their organization has already been working together, and well-coordinated with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in popularizing the rules of conflict to give awareness to the people of Mindanao. 

The MILF is the first group engaged by the Geneva Call in the entire globe, and being the first signatory in an agreement that prohibits child soldiers that has been welcomed by the state officials of Geneva Call who work on the aspect on security. 

Architect Edward Guerra, Co-Chair of the Joint Normalization Committee (JNC) of the MILF who was invited to the event to present a collaborative works in their joint efforts with the Geneva Call. 

Guerra said that in the past, representatives of the organization came to Mindanao with the perception that the MILF is engaged in child recruitment as rebel soldiers. 

Thus, we have signed a deed of commitment seeing the horror of landmines where people become victims and are suffering, he added. 

He also presented the Code of Conduct of MILF where he cited Article 34 regarding “Truth of Behavior” that every member of the MILF must obey and adhere to. 

He stressed that, “The mujahideens or combatants of Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) must follow and respect the rules imposed on them in accordance with Islam. 

As such, they shall save the lives of the civilians not to harm them. Combatants shall not kill without justification or valid reason any creation of Allah (S.W.T) like animals, not to destroy forest, and the captives in war shall be treated humanely, and many others. 

In ending his message, he wished and would be glad to make Cotababto City as a place for peace. Though it has a lot of conflict but may it become a model of ending the deed of agreement they have signed before.