BY ASANGAN T. MADALE
HER EXCELLENCY COLOMBIAN AMBASSADOR MARCELA ORDENEZ from the Republic of Colombia recently paid a courtesy visit to BARMM Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim in exploring a potential collaboration for the ongoing peace process for advancement development in the region, BARMM PIO Hamdan Badrudin. The meeting was also attended by other Colombian delegates focused on sharing best practices in peacebuilding and normalization, “We are currently working on the implementation of the project to exchange best practices in normalization,” Ambassador Ordenez said.
H.E. Ordoñez also introduced the Technical Cooperation Agreement (TCA) which was signed by the Philippine Government and the Colombian Agency for Reintegration and Normalization (ARN).
The TCA highlights the sharing of significant experiences and lessons learned in peace process implementation between the Philippines and Colombia, primarily focusing on normalizing and reintegrating former combatants into mainstream society.
Colombia’s peace process primarily involves negotiations between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), aiming to end the long-standing armed conflict in the country.
In October of this year, Colombia’s government and the FARC rebel group signed a three-month cease-fire and initiated peace talks, aiming to pacify rural areas ahead of regional elections, with both sides committing to cease attacks on civilians and establishing a monitoring group near the border with Venezuela.
Both the Bangsamoro peace process in the Philippines and Colombia’s peace process share common goals of resolving armed conflicts through ceasefires, peace talks, international involvement, and addressing historical grievances, albeit within their unique historical, cultural, and political contexts.
Ambassador Ordoñez mentioned their active involvement in the peacebuilding operations of the Colombian Government.
“The current government has a complete peace policy, and we are engaged in developing the peace process with other scattered groups,” the Ambassador said.
Likewise, Chief Minister Ebrahim shared the decommissioning phase of the former Bangsamoro freedom fighters in the normalization process.
“As part of the final peace agreement, we will decommission the members of our armed forces, bringing them into civilian lives,” Ebrahim emphasized.
The Bangsamoro leader expressed his optimism about working with the Republic of Colombia to accomplish major gains in the peace process.
“We can have a sense of ideas on how to move forward with the implementation process, especially since both sides have challenges,” Ebrahim reassured.
Together with the H.E. Ordoñez were Territorial Deputy Director of Colombian ARN Leonardo Salcedo, Executive Directorate of Colombia in Peace Fund Planning Head Sergio Andres Arevalo Cardenas, Delegate of the Implementation Unit of the Final Agreement Nadia Gabriela Triviño Lopez, Executive Director of the National Federation of Associative Forms for ECOMUN Juan Camilo Londoño, and Delegate to the National Reincorporation Council by the Comunes Component Diana Maria Viloria Blanco.
Also present during the meeting were BARMM Assistant Senior Minister Abdullah Cusain, Member of Parliament Atty. Laisa Alamia, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Process & Joint Normalization Committee (JNC) Secretariat Head Dir. Wendell P. Orbeso.
The discussion on peacebuilding interventions aligns with the 11th priority under CM Ebrahim’s Enhanced 12-Point Priority Agenda, centered on sustaining and improving peace, justice, and security across the region.