PH, Indonesia, Malaysia start joint patrolling. Meeting on Thursday to consolidate operations. Kidnappings likely to be reduced by joint patrolling.

joint operations will be effective

Philippines Muslim Militants

Philippines Muslim Militants

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It is a long pending demand that the regional nations form a joint to tackle the unruly forces in the region. But, the implementation of these schemes has not been so successful due to various reasons.

The background
Last year, after assuming the Presidency of the Philippines, Duterte took up the issue of security with Malaysia and Indonesia. Indonesian President Joko Widodo agreed last May to conduct joint operations between the Coast Guards.

This laid the foundation for enhancement of security to combat the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers and killers. Simultaneously, Malaysia also joined them since they were also suffering from the piracy in the area.

The bandits of the Abu Sayyaf group were unstoppable since they had the support of the Maute.

The siege of Marawi raised the possibility of escaping terrorists heading towards Indonesia. Therefore, the Indonesian government deployed three Sukhoi fighters to prevent this occurrence.

Gatot Nurmantyo, Chief of the Indonesian Army expressed satisfaction that terrorists wouldn’t be able to sneak in. Since the population was largely Muslim, the terrorists posed as innocent evacuees for escaping.

Indonesia’s military chief, Gatot Nurmantyo, said the patrols were timely as his country tried to stop any terrorists from Marawi escaping to Indonesia while posing as refugees.

Mindanao has, of late, become a hub for foreign terrorists to converge and set up bases here. Prominent among them are those that are linkages with the regional Jemaah Islamiyah network.

Mindanao being largely lawless is the ideal refuge for setting up terror training camps and safe havens for terrorists. Furthermore, the foreigners provide training in advanced guerrilla warfare and bomb-making.

In addition, Islamic State terrorists who suffered reverses in the Middle East and elsewhere are settling here.

The intensification of kidnapping by the Abu Sayyaf Group in the Sulu Sea forced the hands of the nations.

Thus, warships from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines started patrols near a naval base in Northern Borneo.

Hence, the joint effort to fight the kidnappers and bandits has begun. Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, spokesperson for the Armed Forces of the Philippines made this announcement.

The three nations meet on Thursday for further consolidation of the measures to combat lawlessness in the region. The focus will be on the Abu Sayyaf and the Maute in the fight against the pirates.

In addition, sharing of intelligence and coordinated anti terror operations form the major part of this alliance. Naval patrolling on a regular basis should put the brakes on the lawlessness in the region.

Announcing these measures, the Department of Foreign Affairs expressed satisfaction at the proposed steps.
Foreign ministers, experts on security and intelligence will attend the meeting in Manila tomorrow.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano expressed happiness at the united approach to ensure safety of the maritime routes.

Joint maritime operations began on June 19. The Trilateral Maritime Patrol command center came up at the Tarakan Naval Base in Indonesia.

Moreover,the joint operations envisage the use of Warships, speedboats and helicopters to put an end to the piracy.
The activities of the terror groups impact adversely the economy of the regional countries.

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Umrao Singh
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017