*Â A bit like ‘fighting crime will create more crime’- and this enlightened strategy is sold to us by a Soros ‘Think Tank’ which calls itself the ‘International Crisis Group (ICG) ‘
* What is this malevolent creep up to?
The Philippines should resume talks with Muslim separatists, or risk renewed fighting in the troubled south between government forces and the insurgents, the International Crisis Group (ICG) warned Wednesday.
Manila must jumpstart talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in order to consolidate gains made in parallel US-backed operations against Abu Sayyaf militants, the Brussels-based think-tank said in a new report.
Manila, 14 May (AKI) – Counter terrorism efforts could backfire in the Philippines and lead to fresh conflict between Manila and Islamic rebels on the southern island of Mindanao, an international think-tank warned on Wednesday.
In its latest report, the International Crisis Group claimed that US-backed security operations risked pushing members of the Abu Sayyaf Group to join broader insurgencies led by two other groups – the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.
John Virgoe, the group’s South-east Asia director, said that this miscalculation could lead to renewed conflict between Manila and the two Islamist groups.
“The number of terrorists in the Philippines is small, relative to the mass-based insurgencies in which they take cover. But the ASG and its allies remain dangerous because of their potential to drag the latter back into war,” Virgoe said.
Abu Sayyaf is an offshoot of the radical wing of the MNLF. The MILF, the Philippines’ largest rebel Islamic group, was also established by a dissident wing of the MNLF.
While Abu Sayyaf is considered a terror organisation, the MNLF, which signed a peace agreement in 1996, was recognised as a rebel organisation that fought for the independence of the Moro people.
The Moro people are known as the Muslim and indigenous tribal inhabitants of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago.
The MILF has carried on its struggle and tainted it with more religious tones. It is currently holding peace talks with Manila – a fragile process that started over ten years ago.
ICG argues that the crux of counter-terrorism in the Philippines is to separate terrorists from insurgents and strengthen the political dialogue with the militant groups â€“ MNLF and MILF.
* Think about that:Â all we need to do isÂ to “separate terrorists from insurgents” , that is the crux! Now all we need is the Soros group to show us how to ‘ to separate terrorists from insurgents’ and all problems are solved!
Kit Collier, a consultant for ICG based in the Philippines, said that the so-called Mindanao Model employed by the security forces against Abu Sayyaf is complicating the situation further.
The Mindanao model combines military operations with civic action against the Abu Sayyaf Group and has been widely heralded as a success.
“The model involves using counterinsurgency techniques for counter-terrorism goals, but the only way the Philippines will effectively manage domestic terrorism is to secure the cooperation of the MILF and MNLF,” Collier said.
*Â So all you need to do is you ‘secure the cooperation of the terrorists in order to fight the terrorists?‘ Too easy! Consider it done!
“That requires concrete progress toward formal peace agreements, the gains of the Mindanao Model’ could be short-lived.”
* Back to the old ‘peace agreement’- a piece of paper will fix it?
In the report, the Brussels-based organisation urged the Filipino government to revive the ad hoc joint action group.
Designed to facilitate information-sharing between the Filipino government and the MILF, it was critical to the prevention of conflict escalation in 2005-2007 when the search for terrorists intensified.
After a six-month hiatus, its mandate was formally extended in November 2007 but is not yet fully restored.
The think-tank also called for a similar arrangement to be developed with the MNLF.
“But the leadership of both insurgencies will only be willing to provide information on terrorists in their midst as part of a political endgame and the Philippines government is stalling while the US appears more focused on economic aid than political agreements,” ICG stated.
PHILIPPINES: CHRISTIANS FEAR FAILED PACT INCREASES RISK OF REPRISALS
Frustrated Muslim demand for larger autonomous region in Mindanao could lead to war.
DUBLIN, October 6Â (Compass Direct News) â€“ Militant Islamists in the Philippine island of Mindanao have stepped up their attacks on majority-Christian villages following the failure of a peace agreement that would have enlarged an existing Muslim autonomous region there. With Muslim commanders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the southern Philippines yesterday saying ongoing support from the international community was necessary to prevent full-scale war breaking out in Mindanao, both Muslim and Christian residents in the disputed territories were fearful of what the future might hold. “The problem is that many people living in these areas don’t want to be part of a Muslim autonomous region,” a source in Mindanao who preferred to remain anonymous told Compass. “The closer you get to these zones, the more nervous people are.” A Christian family from the area said many people were afraid to sleep at night because they kept hearing reports that they would be attacked at midnight.