19-21 June 2017. 50 leaders and representatives of civil society organizations who belong to the Mindanao PeaceWeavers met in Cagayan de Oro City to compare notes on their perspectives and activities in response to the Marawi Crisis. The group proceeded to Iligan then to Marawi for a Peace and Solidarity Mission.
The general objectives of the mission were:
1. To express solidarity to the affected communities and displaced peoples in Marawi City;
- Evaluation and assessment of evacuation sites in Marawi City and Iligan City
- Ground Zero visit to Marawi City
- Ocular visit to key areas covered by the 73-km “Peace Corridor”
2. To conduct an independent peace-finding mission on the Marawi standoff in order to:
- Generate various narratives in understanding the Marawi crisis and specifically highlight the civilian perspectives on the root causes of the standoff;
- Engender the stories of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) on their survival in a violent situation and on how to move forward;
- Engage key stakeholders on their general course of action in post-standoff and the urgent tasks at hand on addressing the humanitarian situation, preventing spillover of violence, and seeking justice;
3. To draw reflective analysis and recommend policy actions —
- on addressing the humanitarian crisis and the safe, dignified return of the IDPs in Marawi City and the surrounding affected areas;
- on the full implementation of all signed peace agreements and normalization phase mechanisms such as the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the Transitional Justice body;
- on the role of civil society actors amid the current security challenges with the Martial Law imposed and the lure of violent extremism heightened.
The ‘listening process’ of the entire mission is a combination of dialogue circles, key informant interviews, humanitarian & psycho-social activities, and group conversations which culminated into a solidarity conference among civil society networks.
The whole 3-day event ended in a day of listening session to each other as an All-Out Peace Movement. Together, we were able to develop initial strategic course of actions on how we would respond to Marawi as a network of civil society organizations.
We submit all these to the Creator, Provider, and Sustainer of all humanity as a humble offering.
All good and deserving of our prayers. Did you get to meet with representatives of those who have been engaged in armed conflict with the government forces?