A Public Statement by the Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD)
BIFF SHOULD STOP USING VICTIM-ACTIVATED IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES (IEDs)
The Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL) and its international partner, the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) express grave concern and strongly condemn the recent use of victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by the armed group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) particularly in Barangay Tee in Datu Salibu Municipality in the province of Maguindanao. Victim-activated IEDs have the same function and effects as the globally banned anti-personnel landmines and violate international humanitarian law. These indiscriminate weapons do not distinguish between combatants and civilians. Even a child could trigger such devices to explode.
The BIFF can take heed from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who unilaterally declared in 2000 as an official policy that they will not use anti-personnel landmines and victim-activated improvised explosives in their armed struggle. The MILF views the use of these weapons as against the teachings of Islam. This crucial decision by the MILF has saved countless of innocent lives and altered the future of the Bangsamoro for the better, and has helped to avoid the challenges of unusable land littered with explosives and landmines which continue to claim innocent lives in neighboring countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
PCBL and FSD strongly remind all parties to the armed conflict that wars have limits and to respect international humanitarian law.
Cotabato City, 3 March 2016
For more information, contact:
Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL)
+63 917 323 0394