Nepal top defense officials visit Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 October) — Top defense and security officials of the Federal Republic of Nepal were in Davao City this
week to take part in an informal mutual learning activity with representatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and civil
society groups.

Facilitated by The Asia Foundation, the visit aimed to enable the armed forces of both countries to gain from each other’s experience
and approaches to improving civil military relations.

Defense Secretary Navin Kumar Ghimire led the Nepali party which included Joint-Secretary of the Ministry of Defense Devendra Sitaula,
Director General of Military Training (DGMT) Major General Anil Thapa, Brigadier General Umesh Bhattaria of the National Security Council
Secretariat, and Colonel Jagadish Pokharel of the Nepal Army Command and Staff College and Security Sector consultant Chiran Jung Thapa.

Lieutenant General Raymundo B. Ferrer, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, received the Nepali delegation on Wednesday at his
headquarters in Panacan, Davao City.

The EMC and Nepali officials exchanged views on the respective experiences of both Asian nations on post-peace agreement concerns,
such as the integration of former enemy troops into the ranks of the national armed forces, security sector reforms, and peace-building in
the conflict-affected areas.

On Thursday, the Ateneo de Davao University hosted the second leg of the Nepali officials’ Mindanao exposure.  They met with ADDU President
Antonio S. Samson, Ida Guiguento of the Catholic Relief Services, Cynthia Guerra of the UN ACT for Peace Programme, Gail Tan Ilagan of
the Center of Psychological Extension and Research Services of the ADDU, and peace worker Leopoldo Uy Lalang of the Moro National
Liberation Front.

Civilian institutions and the armed forces in the Philippines (in the South) and Nepal are currently striving to maintain peace and assist
the transition to stable political settlement in their respective countries.

Each country has its own unique history of conflict, evolutionary pattern, institutional arrangements for political settlement and
challenges in maintaining and building peace.

The Asia Foundation is currently facilitating the crafting of a community mediation program in Nepal. (MindaNews)