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Statement of the Consortium of the Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) on the Re-activation of the Bangsamoro Cooperation Forum (BCF)

Posted on 09 September 2014 by Musa

The Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Socity, Inc (CBCS), a network of Bangsamoro-led organizations, supports the initiative of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to reactivate the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) as a mechanism that would allow the MNLF and the MILF to discuss cooperation in the pursuit of peace and development in the Bangsamoro. This move was agreed in a meeting attended by leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Jeddah Saudi Arabia on June 11-12, 2014 through the auspices of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

The BCF was conceptualized four years ago after Nur Misuari and Murad Ebrahim chairmen of the MNLF and MILF respectively had met through the auspices of the OIC. A subsequent meeting was also held where leaders of both fronts further discussed the issue of cooperation. Unfortunately, after the last meeting nothing very substantial happened in the ground.

The CBCS also expresses its appreciation to the unity of the MNLF fronts, even as it calls for all the fronts and important Bangsamoro stakeholders to unite, set their parochial interests aside and put their actions together for the sake of the Bangsamoro.

Indeed, the re-activation of the BCF is an important milestone in the effort for unity and solidarity of the Bangsmoro people. The unity of the Bangsmoro fronts is a key to achieving peace and development. This is a milestone that most, if not all, Bangsamoro people from different walks of life have long wanted to see.

In this trying time, the Bangsamoro definitely needs the support and solidarity of every important stakeholder.

To achieve the goal of the BCF, we appeal to the OIC to provide the necessary logistical support to sustain the continuing dialogue between the two fronts. We further appeal that a working secretariat which will ensure documentation and administrative functions shall be organized. To further ensure a continuing process, a third party facilitator is needed.

The CBCS believes that this platform will help ensure continuing dialogues between the two fronts that can end in a fruitful cooperation. The lack of it will not move the process forward as it happened since four years ago.

The CBCS further believes that if the MNLF and the MILF are engaging in talks with the government to resolve vertical conflicts, there is no reason why the MILF and the MNLF can not engage in dialogue with each other to resolve horizontal differences.

The Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are ready to assist and share their roles in the success of the dialogues as they are doing in the present peace process.

Finally, we call for the immediate operationalization, strengthening, and sustaining of the Bangsamoro Cooperation Forum.

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