OIC holds 4TH Meeting of Bangsamoro Coordination Forum

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held the 4th Meeting of the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) at its headquarters in Jeddah, KSA on 7-8 May 2017.

The first session held on May 7 was opened by His Excellency Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, OIC Secretary General where he strongly urged the leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to unite and work together in order to achieve the supreme interest of the Bangsamoro people and the comprehensive peace in the Southern Philippines. 

MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim and Yusoph Jikiri, the new Chairman of MNLF who succeeded former Cotabato City Mayor Muslimen Sema fully agreed continue working together through special mechanism much as the BCF to find concrete and feasible solutions to address the decades-old Bangsamoro Question, and they stressed that the Bangsamoro people never disunite if they achieve their right to self-determination and to freely establish their political status.

 The 2nd session on May 8 and was presided by Ambassador Sayed El-Masry, Special Peace Envoy of the OIC Secretary General on Southern Philippines. After the opening remarks of Ambassador El-Masry, the two Chairmen of the MILF and the MNLF gave updates on the status of the Peace Process, and the leaders of two fronts raised and exchanged views about the recent development regarding the task of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) which is entrusted with drafting Bangsamooro Basic Law (BBL). 

The meeting took a strong stand against any attempt to come up with a diluted version of the draft bill. The meeting also discussed the enlargement of the BCF to include other stakeholders including Bangsamoro Civil Society Organizations and the qualification for membership. 

MNLF leader Nur Misuari failed to attend the meeting in Jeddah. His absence or by his representatives is not good for the search for this unity of the Moro fronts and the Bangsamoro people.

The next formal session of the BCF will be held in Abidjan on the margin of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting on July 10-12, 2017.