[TimorLesteStudies] New Conference Paper: From Rebels to Soldiers: An Analysis of the Philippine and East Timorese Policy....

Bu Wilson Bu.Wilson at anu.edu.au
Wed Oct 7 13:05:34 EST 2009

Hall, Rosalie A., From Rebels to Soldiers: An Analysis of the Philippine and
East Timorese Policy Integrating Former Moro National Liberation Front
(Mnlf) and Falintil Combatants into the Armed Forces (2009). APSA 2009
Toronto Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1450242

The Philippines and East Timor are two countries whose governments have
integrated ex-insurgents into their regular armed forces and police. In the
Philippines, the arrangement to integrate 5,000 rebels came out of the final
peace agreement signed between the government and the Moro National
Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1996. The MNLF integrees were mixed into the
regular police and military units deployed in conflict areas in Mindanao.
The East Timorese case, on the other hand, involved the in-take of
ex-Falintil combatants into the newly created state military within the
framework of demobilization and disarmament. Previous studies on security
sector reform point to the shortcomings in training and military
organizational culture for units with ex-rebels in the ranks. Integration
policy both as a peace strategy and a security sector reform initiative is
problematized in view of the gender-blind assumptions behind it and
differential economic benefits it confers. The politicized nature of the
policy itself--that is, the negotiations between international actors and
local stakeholders over the decision to integrate, who to select and the
concomitant consequences of this decision to security force composition and
professionalism invite theorizing. This paper is based on a comparative
research project funded by Toyota Foundation's Southeast Asian Regional
Exchange Program, which examines and compares the policy behind the
selection, training, placement and utilization of rebel-integrees into the
East Timor Defense Force (FDTL) and the Philippine army to respond to
internal security challenges. It probes how international actors (the United
Nations, donors, third parties and neighbors), national/local political
authorities and civil society representatives informed the policies. The
gendered assumptions made by those who crafted the integration policy will
also be looked at. In addition, the research will examine how identity
markers (in the Philippine case, religion; in East Timor, ethnicity) inform
the ways in which the ex-rebels function inside the armed forces. The
implication of the integration policy into the future prospects for peace in
both countries will also be explored.

Keywords: rebel integration, military merger, Falintil, Moro National
Liberation Front 

Bu Wilson
Regulatory  Institutions Network (RegNet) Research School of Pacific and
Asian Studies College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National
Canberra   ACT   0200 

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