By Teng Lauban Datu
Cotabato City Bureau Chief .
Local governments in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) will play a crucial role in preventing and countering violent extremism in their communities.
This was stressed by Barmm Interim Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim Al-Haj during the launch of the Communities of Inclusion and Resilience Through Collaborative Local Engagements (Circle) Project over the weekend in Pasay City.
“On our side, a new Bangsamoro government under our current leadership is committed to cooperate in working together with other leaders to ensure that the LGUs across the Bangsamoro region will do our part in creating community-based solutions for PCVE,” Ebrahim said.
Project Circle, implemented by The Asia Foundation in partnership with Balay Mindanaw, and supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, seeks to reduce the drivers of violent extremism and increase the resilience of communities in targeted areas.
Specifically, the project will provide technical assistance and financial support to increase the capacity of local government that in turn, will take the lead in the design, implementation, and monitoring of programs designed to counter violent extremism.
Project Circle will directly work with local government in Lanao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Basilan and Sulu.
Ebrahim gave the assurance that the Bangsamoro government and local governments in the region will throw their full support behind the initiative.
“We assure you that the leadership of the current Bangsamoro government and component LGUs will rally behind and support the efforts of TAF, international NGOs, and programs of the national government and local communities in helping counter violent extremism,” he said. (with reports from opapp)