Geneva Call leads field investigation into allegations of landmine use by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines
27 November 2009
Geneva Call leads field investigation into allegations of landmine use
by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines
27 November 2009
A team of experts has just completed an investigation into allegations of the use of anti-personnel (AP) mines by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in its conflict with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) during 2008 and 2009.
The investigation, which was facilitated by both the GRP and the MILF, took place between 17 and 26 November. The investigation team, led by Geneva Call, and including law Professor Eric David of Brussels University and a technical specialist from the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), visited sites of alleged mine incidents in conflict-affected areas of Mindanao, inspected devices that had allegedly been recovered, interviewed witnesses and analysed documentary evidence. Nonviolent Peaceforce provided logistical support and accompanied the investigation team into the field, helping to enforce the neutral and impartial nature of the enquiries.
The investigation team will initially share its findings with the MILF, with a summary report provided to the GRP.
The MILF made a commitment to renounce the use of AP landmines by signing the Geneva Call Deed Of Commitment for Adherence to a Total Mine Ban on Anti Personnel Mines and Co-operation in Mine Action in 2000. It reaffirmed – and extended – its obligations by signing a revised version of the Deed of Commitment in 2002.
During the period between the August 2008 and the May 2009 there were a number of allegations reported in the media and elsewhere that forces associated with the MILF were utilizing landmines. On enquiry, representatives of the GRP asserted that a number of these devices were AP landmines, which are prohibited under the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment. Geneva Call therefore sought – and received – approval from both the GRP and the MILF for a field investigation of the allegations.
For further information please contact Geneva Call, +41 22 879 10 50 or firstname.lastname@example.org