COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: Norway declared its full support to the peace process in Mindanao and said offered to take an active role in the decommissioning of weapons in the possession of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Erik Forner, Ambassador of Norway to the Philippines, said it would assign retired Brig. Gen. Jan Erik Wilhelmsen as vice-chairman of the Independent Decommissioning Body and deploy other experts in the verification and monitoring teams.
“Norway remains committed to support efforts to keep the path of peace in the Philippines on track. I commend the efforts of the Philippine government and the MILF to undertake the decommissioning process,” Forner said in a statement.
Norway has been part of an international monitoring team supervising the ceasefire in Mindanao. It is also the third party facilitator of peace talks between the Philippine government and communist rebels.
Wilhelmsen was previously involved in peacekeeping operations in Barbados, Central Sudan, El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, Nigeria and Yugoslavia.
Forner said the decommissioning was an important component in the normalization process as laid out in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
“It is our wish that the Philippines overcome the Mamasapano tragedy and unite to support the peaceful resolution of the armed conflict in Mindanao,” he said.