Parliament’s National Security Committee has voted in favor of signing a memorandum of understanding with the UN to send Maldivian soldiers to UN conflict zones for peacekeeping operations.
According to the parliament, all the members of the committee were present at the meeting last Monday when the voting was held, including Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Rozaina Adam, Peoples Alliance Party (PA) MP Abdulraheem Abdulla and DRP MP Mohamed Nashiz.
The committee will now submit the matter to parliament for approval.
On April 5, the cabinet decided to sign a memorandum of understanding with the UN to deploy Maldivian soldiers to UN conflict zones, noting that it would be important for the Maldives to contribute to these international efforts to ensure that every country, society and individual had the opportunity to live in peace and security.
The decision was then sent to the parliament for approval, and the parliament voted in favor of sending it to the National Security Committee to examine the issue further.
According to 243[b] of the constitution, “if the President, as Commander in Chief, authorizes or orders the employment of the military service in defence of the republic or as part of an international undertaking, the President shall without delay submit the authorisation to the People’s Majlis. The People’s Majlis may at any time approve the authorisation, or revoke the authorisation.”
Speaking on the matter in parliament, opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP, Ahmed Mahlouf, said the issue was concerning.
“This is no joke, this is a very serious issue,” he said. “I do not think any honorable member would want to send some Maldivians abroad to their deaths.”
Mahlouf said death was a real possibility in peacekeeping operations. He also noted that it was possible that terrorists would target the Maldives if Maldivian soldiers were sent to participate in peacekeeping operations.
Religious NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf also expressed concern over the issue and called on the government to withdraw the decision.
Salaf at the that time claimed that any Muslim who assisted non-Muslims in a war against Muslims would themselves be branded infidels.
“Muslims will be obliged to treat him as a non-Muslim in all ways, such as if dead, burying without enshrouding the body, burying the body with other non-believer, and when dealing with inheritance matters the terms and condition that applies to a non-believer who dies in a war against Muslims will be applied to him,” the NGO said.