Chairman Murad commends outgoing Malaysian-led international peace monitors

MORO Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim commended the outgoing Malaysian international peace monitors headed by His Excellency MGen Datuk Baharom bin Hamzah for the excellent performance of functions, services and accomplishments during their one-year tour of duty.

Chairman Al Haj Murad conveyed the highest citations from the MILF and the Bangsamoro people at his headquarters in Camp Darapanan during the farewell program yesterday for the outgoing Malaysian contingents with the International Monitoring Team (IMT).

“In behalf of the MILF and the Bangsamoro people, let me take this opportunity to express our gratitude and appreciation to His Excellency MGen datuk Baharom bin Hamzah and the entire members of the IMT Mindanao Batch – 5, as well as the leadership of the Governments of Malaysia, Brunei, Libya, Norway, the European Union, and the different international and local non-government organizations which comprises the IMT for the remarkable performance of their designated tasks and accomplishments in the service of peace and humanity,” Chairman Murad said.

“We are indeed happy to cite that your one-year tour of duty had contributed to a great extent to our common objective of attaining just, honorable and lasting peace in Mindanao and for the Bangsamoro people,” he stressed.

Highest and Senior Officials of MILF Central Committee, top commanders of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), and MILF Peace Negotiating Panel were also present, to include Vice Chairman for Political Affairs Ghazali Jaafar, Chief Peace Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, BIAF Chief of Staff Sammy Al Mansoor, Senior Peace Panel Member Atty Datu Michael Mastura, and MILF CCCH Chairman Said Shiek.

IMT – Mindanao Batch 5 under MGen Datuk Baharom of the Malaysian Armed Forces and BGen Dato Mazlan bin Abbas as the Head and Deputy Head of Mission, respectively, started its tour of duty on February 28, 2010 with the mandate of monitoring the implementation of the Security, Socio-Economic, Humanitarian/Rehabilitation/ Development, and Civilian Protection Components of the Peace Process between the MILF and Government of the Philippines (GPH).

“The imprint of your services rendered with utmost dedication and determination will forever be remembered by the Bangsamoro people and will undoubtedly be engraved in the golden pages of the history of the Bangsamoro struggle for freedom and self-determination,” Chairman Murad said.
Murad gave assurance of full support and cooperation for IMT Batch 6, even as he conveyed profound gratitude to His Excellency Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Bin Tun abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, and the Malaysian people for the continuing facilitation and support for the GPH – MILF Peace Process.
While emphasizing the MILF’s sincerity and commitment to a peaceful negotiated political settlement of the Bangsamoro Question and the armed conflict in Mindanao, Chairman Murad, however, said “an endless peace process and ceasefire forever are intolerable.”

MILF Chief Negotiator Iqbal, for his part, cited the redeployment of IMT staring February last year, saying “the incidents of violations to the ceasefire accord had diminished significantly and the number of skirmishes between the government and MILF forces had been reduced to almost zero incident.”

“You deserve all the commendation and citation,” Iqbal told the IMT.

The MILF Central Committee and BIAF gave tokens and tribute of commendation for the IMT as symbol of everlasting gratitude and appreciation.

BIAF Chief of Staff Sammy Al Mansoor, in his tribute of commendation for the IMT, cited the outstanding performance of functions and accomplishments of the IMT – Batch 5, which he said are imbued with exceptional diplomacy, neutrality, professionalism and international third party monitoring that uphold and promote the primacy and success of the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

MGen Baharom, in his message, said “I have always been a soldier but not born a general. To become a general of the Malaysian Armed Forces is a long process and to become a major part of an international peacemaking mission in Mindanao is a dream come true and a privilege that I will cherish forever.”

“The Malaysian IMT members and all the other contingents from the different countries in IMT did not come here to be praised. We come here to perform our job and to keep our reputation of just being here to serve the common interest for peace in this part of the world,” Gen Baharom said.
We thank you very for all the support and cooperation which made our mission successful, he said, adding “we hope that soon we can achieve long lasting peace and prosperity in Mindanao which will surely benefit the future generations.”

“We can also assure you and the Philippine Government that Malaysia will continue to be a staunch part of the IMT for as long as necessary,” Baharom said.

In the next days, Gen Baharom will make his exit calls to the GPH in Manila.


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