Colombia: ‘New hope’ to strengthen peace says Guterres

The breakthrough was announced on January 1 by the South American nation’s first leftist president, Gustavo Petro, who tweeted that he was seeking “complete peace”, amid continued violence, after the historic conflict. UN-backed peace deal with the leadership of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) militant group in 2016.

That treaty ended decades of conflict with the FARC, but did not include other dissident factions who could not be discharged due to the peace agreement.

President Petro said the bilateral ceasefire agreement, which includes the ELN rebels, the Second Marquetalia group, the Central General Staff, the AGC group and the Sierra Nevada Self-Defense Forces, will last for six months, until the end of the month. 6, with the ability to expand it “depending on progress”.

He said there would be a “national and international verification mechanism” to monitor and secure the new truce.

build confidence

“The Secretary-General is confident that adhering to these commitments will reduce the violence and suffering of communities affected by conflict,” a statement from António Guterres“while helping to build trust in ongoing conversations.”

The Secretary-General also reaffirmed the “United Nations’ support for Colombia’s efforts to achieve full and lasting peace.”

President Petro – a former rebel fighter who has been involved in democratic politics since the early 1990s – was elected president last June, pledging to launch negotiations to make a full peace deal possible. present into reality.

President Gustavo Petro Urrego of Colombia speaks at the joint discussion of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

President Gustavo Petro Urrego of Colombia speaks at the joint discussion of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

‘There is no better alternative’

the head of UN Verification Mission in ColombiaCarlos Ruiz Massieu, told the Security Council in October that expectations are high that progress can be made.

“I certainly believe that Colombia can once again demonstrate to the world that there is no better alternative to ending conflict than through dialogue,” he told the ambassadors.

He also welcomed the Government’s commitment to strengthening the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Compensation and Non-Repetition, and the Government’s support for the mechanism set up to investigate those who missing.

Despite the fact that FARC fighters were discharged from the army and entered democratic politics in 2017, reports show that some 10,000 fighters from other armed groups, continue to be trapped in deadly disputes. , destabilizing the whole country.

According to reports, the ELN, the last recognized rebel leader in the country, has been negotiating with the Government since November. It announced a short-term unilateral ceasefire in mid-December.

In a tweet on Sunday, Massieu welcomed President Petro’s announcement, saying the UN supports “every effort” to reduce violence, to protect vulnerable communities still affected by the virus. conflict and help build a lasting peace.


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