The process of decommissioning former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, in the south of the Philippines, continued last week, as the third phase of the decommissioning process resumed in Mindanao. This phase aims to cover up to 14,000 combatants. NOREF has supported the decommissioning mechanism with expertise since 2016.
Over 20 000 combatants have turned in well over 4 500 weapons so far since the decommissioning process started in 2015. The decommissioning is part of the normalisation track of the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro, the peace agreement signed between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The decommissioning is overseen by the Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB), where Norway serves as Vice Chair. The IDB was established by the two parties, the Government of the Philippines and MILF, and it is a key component of the normalization structure of the peace agreement.
Norway has been involved in the peace process in the southern part of the Philippines since 2010, since 2014 as member country of the IDB, together with Turkey and Brunei. Norwegian experts are deployed on the ground to provide expert technical, security and logistical assistance to the decommissioning operations.
Photo: William Hovland/NOREF