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Indonesian troops, a welcome site

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It is our view that involving too many nations in the government peace negotiation with the secessionist fronts will not augur well for the country. Internationalizing internal conflict merely gives the Fronts some degree of recognition in the global community, a status which the government must abhor.

For sometime now, Malaysia have been sitting as referee between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panels. They too provide the main contingent force that intervenes if there are clashes between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the MILF combatants especially when the cease fire agreement is enforced.  So far though Malaysia’s contingent which makes up the biggest contingent of the international monitoring teams has succeeded in quelling armed conflicts. For that, we owe them a lot of gratitude.

While we have some misgivings of still another country sending some troops to add to the IMTs the recent announcement that Indonesia will be sending still another group is a development that is most welcomed. Let’s face it, Indonesia has been an ally of the Philippines in safeguarding their common borders not only from criminal elements  but also to secure the marine resources present in their common boundaries.

But the more significant of all is that the Indonesia is sharing intelligence data involving the campaign of the two ASEAN nations to eliminate the terrorist elements which had victimized innocent civilians in both countries. Indonesia and the Philippines have the same problems with the terrorists and therefore they have worked out together common solutions to address the menace that the terror band had inflicted on both nations.

The most vicious operatives of Jemaah Islamiyah have sown among the most horrific manslaughters seen by mankind in Indonesia which ironically is the most populous Islamic country in the world. Such atrocities are testament to JI’s and its mother organization – Al Qaeda – as being bereft of any bit of religious faith and political ideology. The same can be said of JI and Abu Sayyaf elements in Southern Philippines which both operate and wreck havoc on persons and properties in the autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao.

Given their own nightmarish experience with the terrorists, the entry of Indonesian contingent will help in revalidating the reports of events obtaining in the conflict areas in Mindanao. Indonesia is an influential member of the Organization of Islamic Countries and we therefore expect that reports on the peace negotiation efforts  will be more accurate and credible.

They will also be the more effective watchdogs on the reported  entry of terrorist assistance in forms of arms and cash aids coming from. It has never been denied that some members of the OIC were directly or indirectly aiding Islamic extremists. They too were perceived to be “kind” to the secessionist fronts and terrorists who had sought sanctuary to the fronts’ camps.

While the equation had drastically changed following the tumultuous Arab Spring,  we cannot be less careful now especially when the vestiges of  Al Qaeda are gasping for breath and in small numbers may waged still another brutal attack.  It is a comfort that the Indonesian contingent is around to keep watch.

By Menardo Wenceslao




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