Parliament yesterday approved sending Maldivian troops to join UN peacekeeping operations.
In August this year, parliament’s National Security Committee voted in favor of signing a memorandum of understanding with the UN to send Maldivian soldiers to UN conflict zones for peacekeeping operations.
All members of the committee were present at the meeting last Monday when voting took place, including Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Rozaina Adam, Peoples Alliance Party (PA) MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla and DRP MP Mohamed Nashiz.
On April 5, the cabinet decided to sign the memorandum of understanding with the UN and forwarded the matter to parliament, noting that it would be important for the Maldives to contribute to international efforts to ensure that every country, society and individual had the opportunity to live in peace and security.
According to 243(b) of the constitution, “if the President, as Commander in Chief, authorises 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.”
During yesterday’s final debate stage at parliament, opposition MP Ahmed Mahlouf said the issue was “not a 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.”
Religious NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf also expressed concern over the issue and called on the government to withdraw the decision.
Salaf at the 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.
The MoU was approved with 56 votes in favour, five abstentions and 11 votes against.
MPs Ibrahim Muthalib, Abdul Raheem Abdulla, Yousuf Abdul Ghafoor, Mohamed Mujthaz, Hassan Latheef, Ahmed Rasheed Ibrahim, Moosa Zameer, MP Abdul Azeez Jamaal Abu Bakur, Hussein Mohamed, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Nasheed and Dhivehi Qaumy Party (DQP) Riyaz Rasheed voted against signing the MoU with the UN.