Zamboanga City-based IMT-Mission 11 makes farewell visit to Moro Communities

The Site-3 Mobile Team of International Monitoring Team (IMT)-Mission 11 based in Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), Zamboanga City made their farewell visits to Moro communities in Zamboanga City to culminate their “Tour of Duty” which shall end this coming month of March 2017.

The outgoing IMT Site-3 Mobile Team led by Col. Mohammad Zaki bin Abu visited first the Moro Communities in west coast barangays on February 13. The informal event took place at Moro Asta Madrasa at Tulungatung where Moro community leaders and residents attended and overwhelmingly expressed their profoundest gratitude to IMT for supporting and sustaining the gains of peace agreements.

On the morning of February 14, the IMT made another farewell visit to Moro Community leaders in barangay Arena Blanco. It was held at Mahad Ihtidaia Muallimin al Islami where Moro Religious sectors and heads of Civil Society Organizations and Mindanao Women Advocacy for Good Governance (MWAGG) were present.

“The present of IMT in Zamboanga City made us more secure and we are very grateful to them. The IMT contribution to GPH-MILF Peace process as ceasefire component is very vital for not only monitoring and sustaining the ceasefire agreement but also sees and observes directly the plight and  situation of the Moros caused by armed-conflict here in Mindanao”, one community leader said.

In the afternoon, the IMT Officials also visited Barangay Baliwasan where Moro Community leaders welcomed them and expressed their heartfelt gratitude to IMT for their unwavering support to GPH-MILF Peace agreement. The were hoping that the IMT will continue its endeavor in peace monitoring effort until a final solution to the Moro problem is achieved through full implementing the signed agreements.

On February 15, the team proceeded to east coast Barangay of Sangali.
“We expressed our sincerest gratitude to IMT Officials and their home countries for their active involvement in GPH-MILF Peace Process by monitoring party’s adherence to the ceasefire agreement. The peace deal signed by the GPH and the MILF may be difficult to sustain without the help of international peace components like IMT”,   the Moro community leaders stressed.

In his message, the outgoing IMT Site-3 Team leader, Col. Zaki bin Abu reminded the Moro community leaders and residents to be always observe the rule of law and sustain the forged peace agreement by intensifying their peace-building activities in their respective communities.

“During our one-year Tour of Duty, I and my team are very grateful because your warm welcome and hospitality felt us like we are in our own homes. We are also happy because we have been part of your journey to peace. Hoping that someday I can see in Malaysian national news that peace and development in Mindanao is finally achieved”,  Col. Zaki said. 

The IMT Site-3 Mobile team gave tokens to Moro community leaders and peace advocates as form of appreciation of their active participation and responsiveness in sustaining the gains of peace agreements through community peace-building activities. 

The incoming batch of IMT from the same participating countries is expected to arrive in Mindanao in March 2017. It will continue its mandate and commitment to the peace deal particularly in monitoring the implementation of the ceasefire agreement under the Term of Reference forged by Philippine Government (GPH) and MILF.

The IMT contingents are headed Malaysia and has members from Brunei, Indonesia, Japan and other countries from European Union (EU) each batch has one-year tour of duty and shall be replaced with new batch. The current IMT belongs to Batch-11. The IMT-11 is led by Major Gen. Datuk Wira Zamrose Bin Mohd Zain of the Malaysian Royal Armed Forces.
The IMT farewell visits to Moro communities were facilitated by Mr. Tirso Tahir of the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) and Ustadz Taha Daranda of Moro Religious Association of Zambaoanga City.