During a field visit, one of our peacekeepers pointed out that even the “smallest disputes can have big repercussions.” At Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP), we recognize that in our work, no dispute is too small if there is a risk that wider civilian protection issues could ensue.
Although 2012 may be considered as a year of breakthroughs for the Mindanao peace process in terms of gains at the negotiating table, this has not been reason enough for us to drop our guard. Given the numerous armed clashes involving groups not part of or even opposed to the peace talks, NP has steadfastly stuck to its commitment of providing protection to civilians affected by such acts of violence.
With this in mind, and acknowledging the importance of collective efforts and cooperation, 2012 has been a year of linkages for NP.
Our Conflict Prevention Program (CPC) entered into a partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and local humanitarian groups in Mindanao to launch the Humanitarian Consortium. This project focused on the protection of women in situations of armed conflict through the reporting of instances of Gender-Based Violence in Armed Conflict (GBV-AC).
On the other hand, our Civilian Protection Component (CPC) program, which is one of the pillars of the International Monitoring Team (IMT), has strengthened its partnership with one of the oldest and biggest civil society organizations in Mindanao, the Moslem Organization of Government Officials and Professionals (MOGOP), also a member of the IMT.
Another highlight for the year has been NP’s partnership with the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI), a capacity-building center for future Bangsamoro leaders.
NP is grateful to the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for inviting us to be part of the IMT which we have been supporting ever since by monitoring the ceasefire mechanism on a daily basis and by alerting the relevant parties of any conflict-related humanitarian issues affecting the civilian population.
We are also most thankful to our donors, partners, and the communities we have had the privilege to work with.