Friday, September 5, 2014

PHL takes up peacekeeping concerns with UN

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 5): PHL takes up peacekeeping concerns with UN

The Philippine government said on Friday it has taken up its concerns regarding the peacekeeping operations in the Golan Heights after the Philippine military and a United Nations commander traded accusations of security breach during last week’s standoff with Syrian rebels.

Filipino troops monitoring the armistice line in the Syria-Israel border in the Golan Heights sneaked out of their posts and made a daring escape last week after being surrounded by rebels.

“The Philippines is taking steps to address our peacekeeping concerns through diplomatic channels within the UN. We should focus now on supporting efforts to secure the freedom of the Fijian peacekeepers,” DFA Spokesman Charles Jose said at a press briefing.

The Philippine military admitted defying the orders of UN Disengagement Force (UNDOF) commander Lt. Gen. Iqbal Singh Singha for putting the lives of the Filipino soldiers at risk when he reportedly ordered them to surrender their weapons to the rebels, which earlier seized a group of peacekeepers from Fiji.

Singha denied the accusation, saying the Filipinos broke the chain of command and were the ones who endangered the lives of the Fijian hostages when they abandoned their posts at the height of a "delicate" ceasefire with the rebels.

Jose said the Philippine mission in the U.N. in New York is coordinating with the world body regarding the Philippine government’s concerns.

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