KUALA LUMPUR: The 14th Mindanao International Monitoring Team (IMT-M14) will depart for Mindanao, Philippines tomorrow to continue monitoring and overseeing the ceasefire process between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Malaysian Armed Forces chief Gen Tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin said IMT-M14, led by Maj Gen Datuk Ya’cob Samiran, will replace IMT-M13, which ends its duties on March 14.
“Congratulations to all officers and personnel selected to join IMT-M14 and it is hoped they can carry out their duties in the best possible manner.
“Malaysia’s excellence in leading this mission showcases our credibility among the international community,“ he said at the launch ceremony of IMT-M14 at Wisma Transit, here today.
His speech text was read by Army chief Gen Datuk Seri Ahmad Hasbullah Mohd Nawawi.
A total of 16 members make up the IMT-M14 team, mainly 11 personnel from MAF, two from the police and one civil servant each from the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Department.
Zulkifli said officers and members in IMT-M14 should take care of their safety at all times during the mission.
“The situation in Mindanao is difficult to predict, so stay away from any risky situations,“ he said.
A total of 13 teams have been deployed to Mindanao since Oct 10, 2004.
The team’s main goal is to carry out monitoring tasks and create a more conducive environment for the peace process between the two parties.
The Mindanao conflict has persisted for the past three decades, and Malaysia has successfully managed to bring both sides to the negotiating table, with the two agreeing to a ceasefire. — Bernama