UN in PH: End Zamboanga violence 'immediately'
MANILA, Philippines – The United Nations (UN) team in the Philippines on Thursday, September 12, called for an "immediate end" to the violence in Zamboanga City, expressing concern over the worsening humanitarian situation in the city.
"The United Nations Country Team calls for an immediate end to the violence, deeply regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives, and calls for safe passage of civilians caught in the cross fire," a statement from the Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines said.
"The United Nations calls on all parties involved to respect and protect the rights of the civilian population, provide special attention to women and children and avoid unnecessary human suffering by reaching agreement to end the standoff," the statement said.
The UN team said they are ready to support the government in providing humanitarian assistance to the civilian population affected by the ongoing fighting between state security personnel and members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
The fighting has displaced over 14,000 residents.
The UN team also denied any association or relationship with a certain "Xavier Daniel," who has allegedly portrayed himself as a UN representative.
Government officials told Rappler it was this "Xavier Daniel" who has been telling MNLF members that the UN is supporting their call for a re-negotiation of their 1996 peace agreement with the government. "Xavier Daniel" reportedly was able to visit Sulu weeks before the standoff. – Rappler.com