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Colombia’s FARC Delivers 60% of Weapons to UN Peace Mission

teleSUR | June 14, 2107

 

The Colombian FARC guerrilla delivered another 30 percent of their weapons Tuesday to the United Nation as part of the landmark peace agreement with the government ending over half a century of civil war.

“With this act, the FARC wants to show Colombia and the world that we leave behind the page of war and starting to write the page of peace … that our commitment is total and that we are going to give everything for the peace of the country,” Pablo Catatumbo, member of the FARC’s leadership, said during the event.

On June 7, the FARC delivered the first 30 percent of the weapons, kicking off its historic disarmament. On Tuesday, another 30 percent will be handed over, and the more than 7,000 members of the groups will deliver the total amount by June 20.

The event that took place in La Elvira, in the western department of Cauca, and had been expected to be attended by President Juan Manuel Santos, the former prime minister of Spain Felipe Gonzalez and former President of Uruguay Jose Mujica.

But the political figures could not participate at the last minute due to heavy rain and had to follow the event through a video conference. Santos from an air base in the city of Cali said: “Today, without a doubt, is a historic day. What we witnessed on television — we could not be there physically because weather did not allow us — is something that the country only a few years ago would never have believed was possible.”

The next step for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia will be the transition to civilian life and the creation of a political party to participate in the next elections.

The head of the Colombian FARC guerrilla Rodrigo Londoño, also known as Timoleon Jimenez or Timochenko, who is in Norway, said he urged the Colombian government to fight against paramilitary violence in the country.

“We are leaving our weapons behind to continue with politics that we have always maintained and our efforts to build a fairer and just Colombia, where people who think differently are not murdered for their ideas,” Timochenko said during a press conference in Oslo during a forum on conflict resolution.

The leader has said that the government has been slow in implementing the agreement and that there have been problems including security issues and infrastructure shortages for the 26 transition zones where the rebels have assembled before returning to civil life.

He stressed that the most critical issue, though, was that Santos administration has not admitted the ongoing problem of paramilitarism in the country or set out a course of action to tackle it. Timochenko called on the international community to pressure the government to eradicate it, as he says it has become “an obstacle for peace.”

Norway, together with Cuba, was a guarantor country in the four-year peace negotiations between the FARC and the Colombian government. Talks wrapped up in Havana last year once the historic peace accord was finalized. The peace deal brings an end to over 50 years of internal armed conflict that killed some 260,000 people and victimized millions more.

June 14, 2017 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics | , ,

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