Peace process a shared responsibility

Decommissioned Muslim rebels desire brighter futures for their children as well as livelihood opportunities, which they hope will materialize throughout the course of the peace process.

Photo courtesy of IDEALS Inc. | Netherlands Embassy counterterrorism advisor Roy Hans (middle) engages with people from Muslim Mindanao to learn about their perspectives on the ongoing Bangsamoro transition.

A counterterrorism advisor from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in the Philippines traveled to the Bangsamoro region and Northern Mindanao to see firsthand the distribution of birth certificates to Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters in Camp Bilal, Munai, Lanao del Norte.

Joining non-government organizations and representatives from the government of the Philippines, Roy Hans witnessed over two days the impact of the ongoing peace process in the Bangsamoro, and spoke with MILF combatants, community members, and internally displaced people to hear their perspectives on the ongoing Bangsamoro transition.

Over 400 former and current MILF fighters, their families, comrades of the Bangsamoro Islamic Women Auxiliary Brigade, and members surrounding MILF camps from Camp Bilal and the municipality of Balo-i received copies of their Certificates of Live Birth as part of the Access to Legal Identity and Social Services for Decommissioned Combatants implemented by IDEALS Inc.

ALIAS DC aims to support the Bangsamoro peace process by providing former and current MILF revolutionaries and members of conflicted communities in the Bangsamoro with birth certificates to facilitate access to socioeconomic and development programs.

Following the distribution, Hans also held short dialogues with former combatants in Balo-i.

The discussions laid bare the decommissioned combatants’ desire for brighter futures for their children and livelihood opportunities, which they hope will materialize throughout the course of the peace process.

On 28 April, Hans visited Marawi City’s ground zero, and took part in a community visit and conversation with IDPs from Bakwit Village Phase 2 in Saguiaran, Lanao del Norte. Internally displaced people and representatives from civil society organizations conveyed the importance of continued assistance and the culturally inclusive rehabilitation of their city.

Since March, the ALIAS DC project has distributed 1,136 COLBs out of the 35,665 total applications it received in Muslim Mindanao.

ALIAS DC is a civil registration project funded by the European Union in the Philippines, Australia in The Philippines, and The Asia Foundation.

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