GPH-MILF hold in abeyance inclusion of 2 int’l NGOs in peace talks

THE MORO Islamic Liberation Front on Sunday said  accreditation of the two international non governmental organizations seeking inclusion in the 14-year old GPH-MILF peace talks as part of its contact group were held in abeyance.

The rebel group in their official site said  the decision to admit the two international NGOs was held in abeyance as the two Parties, the GPH and MILF peace negotiators have decided to clamp a “temporary moratorium” for the admission of new members to the International Contact Group (ICG).

At least eight more non-government organizations, two of which are international, asked for inclusion in the  GPH-MILF peace talks.

Jun Mantawil, chair of the MILF peace panel secretariat, did not itendity the two NGO’s.

Mantawil said, “I do not want to preempt the thinking of the Parties to the talks especially their respective principals.”

He said the present ICG is composed of four states and four INGOs namely, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Saudi Arabia (states), and The Asia Foundation, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Muhammadiyah, and Conciliation Resources (INGOs).

All the ICG members were represented in the recent 20th GPH-MILF Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lumpur on February 9-10, 2011.

Saudi Arabia was represented by HE Bader Al-Moqhim, the charge de affairs in the Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

The six other NGOs, which applied for accreditation and proposed for the adoption of new name tag or group which they called “Mindanao Contact Group (MCG), are based in Manila and Davao City.

Their names are not available as of press time.

The NGOs, in their letter to the GPH and MILF peace panels, said they envisioned for a similar terms of reference (TOR) with the ICG, including attendance to face to face meeting the two peace panels.

The Parties have initially discussed the MCG but since it was not formally taken up and agreed as one of the agenda, they decided to calendar it for discussion in March this year.

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