Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Colombia begins bilateral ceasefire with 5 armed groups

BUCARAMANGA, Colombia ( Associated Press) – Colombia on Sunday began a bilateral ceasefire with five major armed groups operating in the country that will last until June 30, overseen by the United Nations, the Catholic Church, the OAS and the Office of the Ombudsman. ,

“The main objective of the termination will be the suspension of humanitarian impact on ethnic-regional and peasant communities in general and in particular,” the presidency said in a statement at midnight on Saturday.

The suspension of offensive operations included the National Liberation Army (ELN), believed to be the last active guerrilla in the country, with whom the government resumed a negotiating table in November. This is the first bilateral ceasefire achieved since then and the most notable outcome of the talks.

The bilateral ceasefire declaration involves Segunda Marquetalia and the Central General Staff, two factions of dissidents from Colombia’s defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) guerrilla that returned to arms and did not accept the peace process signed with the state in 2016. ,

Also joining the declaration are the Self-Defense Force of the Sierra Nevada, a successor to paramilitarism, and the Cabal del Golfo, known in recent years as the Gatanista Self-Defense Force of Colombia, the largest drug-trafficking cartel in the country. Also known as -, according to Colombian authorities, which has the capacity to smuggle up to 20 tons of cocaine a month, especially to the United States and European countries.

The government clarified that it was not currently considering further ceasefires with armed groups other than the five declared groups, and indicated that it would “follow the ongoing processes for making future decisions and the results of other unilateral ceasefires”. Will review.”

The bilateral ceasefire is part of a strategy called “complete peace”, with which President Gustavo, the first leftist in power in Colombia’s history, seeks reconciliation with petro-armed groups that lead peace talks or surrender to justice. . It aims to reduce the ongoing armed conflict in the country, particularly driven by lucrative illegal revenues such as those left over by drug trafficking.

Nation World News Desk
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