MANILA -- The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is expecting the arrival of an international expert who will be consulted by the group in the issue of conflict normalization as part of the peace panel agenda.
The MILF said Tuesday that the expert, Luc Chounet Cambas, will arrive in Manila and then to Mindanao this week to conduct a review on ways to approach normalization in a conflict situation particularly when the parties have already signed an agreement.
Cambas will also meet with various people involved in the issue "to get a portrait of the situation," the MILF said on its website.
According to the group, members of the MILF peace panel had earlier informed their counterparts from the government during their meetings in Malaysia last July that they will seek the advice of a foreign expert on normalization when the issue is raised on the negotiating table.
Normalization, which is also referred to as DDR (demilitarization, demobilization, and reintegration), will be part of the agenda of the discussions of the Philippine government's and MILF's peace panels, the Moro group said.
But the group added that it has repeatedly expressed discomfort with the term DDR, saying it "smacks of surrender and mass confiscation of firearms."
In his book "Negotiating Ceasefires," Cambas examined how third parties negotiate ceasefires and how they facilitate the transition from war to peace.
According to the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, Cambas particularly explored in his book the purpose of ceasefire agreements, the challenges faced by negotiation mediators, and what options are available to them.
Cambas has worked in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Sudan, and other conflict areas, according to the MILF.
The formal peace talks between the Philippine government and the MILF have been reset in early September to give way on the state funeral for the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
The MILF said on Saturday that the government peace panel led by Marvic Leonen sought for the postponement of the 31st formal exploratory talks originally scheduled on August 27 to 30 in Malaysia. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)