Peace in Mindanao: Recent History, Public Opinion, and Prospects

Event: June 9, 2009, Washington, DC

The Asia Foundation and The Henry L. Stimson Center are pleased to invite you to an event:

“Peace in Mindanao: Recent History, Public Opinion, and Prospects”

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

10:30 am-12:00 pm

The Henry L. Stimson Center

1111 19th St., NW

12th Floor

Washington, DC 20036

In August 2008, it seemed that the peace process between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Philippines was about to reach a significant milestone: a Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD), which outlined the territorial aspects of the possible peace agreement with the MILF. However, elected politicians from Mindanao obtained a Temporary Restraining Order from the Supreme Court, which later declared the MOA unconstitutional. In response, some MILF commanders went on the offensive and this, along with subsequent government operations to capture these “renegades” mean that there are currently some 350,000 internally displaced persons in central Mindanao.

The Asia Foundation launched a complex series of scientific surveys to guage citizen attitudes toward these events, with statistically representative data for the subsets of the population potentially affected by the MOA-AD. The talk will examine the prospects for peace in light of:

–these survey results

–the government’s emphasis on Demobilization, Disarmamanent, Rehabilitation (DDR) and

–new moves beyond negotiations to “Community Consultations”

The U.S. government is the largest grant donor to the Southern Philippines, and exercises considerable diplomatic clout in the region. Both the Obama and previous Bush administrations have supported the Agreement as a means of further isolating and putting more pressure on terrorist organizations, especially the Jemaah Islamiya (JI) and Abu Sayyaf Group. The U.S. Institute of Peace has held workshops on territorial and other issues in contention. How might the Obama Administration more robustly address the current situation?

Dr. Steve Rood, the Asia Foundation’s Country Representative in the Philippines will discuss the results of the survey, the current situation in Mindanao and the prospects for peace. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Richard Cronin of the Stimson Center, which is hosting and co-sponsoring the event.

To RSVP for this event, please email Yvonne Day (Yday@asiafound-dc.org)

Related locations: Philippines, Washington DC

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