The Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – the main rebel Islamist group in the country - have agreed to set up different bodies responsible for supervising the process of normalisation.

A statement made by the two sides on May 6 said they agreed to establish the International Decommissioning Body (IDB), the Joint Normalisation Committee (JNC) and the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC).

The IDB will be composed of three foreign experts and four local ones who have been jointly nominated by the government and MILF. The body will take the lead in the gradual process of decommissioning MILF forces and weapons.

The JNC will coordinate all components of the normalisation process, while the TJRC will be tasked with recommending mechanisms to address the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people, correct historical injustices, and address human rights violations through land dispossession, towards healing and reconciliation.

The decision to establish the agencies was set forth in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the government and MILF on March 27. Under the agreement, the Front accepted to end the violence in exchange for a stronger right to self-governence. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao – including five southern provinces of the Philippines - will be replaced with an autonomous region called Bangsamoro, which will have a larger area.

It took the Government of the Philippines and MILF nearly two decades to seek a solution to stop the fighting, which lasted over more than 40 years in the country’s southern region. Revolts organised by MILF during the period killed at least 120,000 people and forced over 2 million others to leave their homes.-VNA