The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement with the
EU Heads of Mission in the Philippines
The European Union Delegation wishes to express its concern over the recent spate of violence in parts of Zamboanga, initiated by a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front. We strongly condemn any violation of the international law and human rights of the civilian population in Zamboanga, especially those of women and children. We sympathise with the wounded and hurt, and offer our condolences to the families of the victims of this violence.
The EU Delegation commends President Aquino for his firm commitment to achieve peace in Mindanao through an inclusive peace settlement, which is within a reach and would be beneficial for all Bangsamoros.
We urge an unconditionally and immediate ending of the violence in Zamboanga and the release all civilians. We further urge that all parties recommit irrevocably and exclusively to the political process and ongoing negotiations to ensure a lasting, just and peaceful settlement in Mindanao.
The EU Delegation is also concerned by reports of an emerging humanitarian crisis, spurned by the growing number of Internally Displaced Persons in the affected areas. The EU Delegation stresses the need for all sides to recognise international rules by allowing safe access of humanitarian organisations and assistance.
The EU, as a member of the International Monitoring Team and major development partner in poverty alleviation in Mindanao since 1990, will continue to support peaceful efforts to achieve long-lasting peace in Mindanao.