Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 19:42 | SYDNEY
Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 19:42 | SYDNEY

Australia in Mindanao: Taking up the gamble


Malcolm Cook

6 March 2008 15:04

Recently, an Australian delegation went from the embassy in downtown Manila to the jungles of Mindanao to express Australia’s interest in contributing more to the peace process between the Philippine Government and the main Moro insurgent group, the MILF. This is certainly a brave move, given the fact that this is the third peace process in the last four decades attempting to bring peace to the Southern Philippines. The first two, both with another insurgent group, the MNLF, failed, while the present one is entering its eleventh year with no bright light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

However, the interlinking of the Moro insurgency in the southern Philippines and Southeast Asian terrorist networks means that this present peace process and its eventual success means much more to Australia and is thus worth taking a punt on. For more information about the Moro insurgency, the current peace process and the role Australia could play in it, please see the 2006 Lowy Institute Paper I wrote with Kit Collier, Mindanao: A Gamble Worth Taking.