Friday, January 27, 2023

Colombia: UN outlines peace efforts and warns of violence

BOGOTA ( Associated Press) – The United Nations on Wednesday encouraged new peace efforts by the Colombian government to start talks with various armed groups, six years after the country signed a peace deal with the extinct guerrilla Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces. There is also violence.

“The long-term success of the Colombian peace settlement, which we all seek, depends on the ability of the Colombian authorities to confront the continuing violence that constitutes their greatest threat,” said Carlos Ruiz Macieu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General Told. The United Nations in Colombia ahead of a Security Council meeting in New York.

The Security Council reviews the status of the peace process in the Latin American country on a quarterly basis. The latest report submitted covers the period from September 27 to December 26, 2022.

Although Masiu acknowledged progress in the implementation of the accord in aspects such as rural reform and the justice system, he expressed regret that more than six years after the signing of a peace deal with the FARC, what was the oldest guerrilla in Latin America Violence continues, particularly against communities, social leaders and former combatants.

The report states that in 2022 the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights verified 101 killings against social leaders and another 25 are in the process of verification. The victims included eight women, 26 indigenous, 14 Afro-Colombians and one LGBTI leader. In 2021, 100 murders were verified.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, explained that the ongoing violence in Colombia is related to the illegal production of drugs.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2021 the crop of coca will reach a historic level of 204,000 hectares.

“While authorities need to crack down on and combat illegal drug production, it is vital that illegal groups are held accountable,” Thomas-Greenfield stressed.

More than 13,000 FARC ex-combatants continue in the process of reintegration into civilian life and 75% of them participate in productive initiatives. However, violence remains a constant threat and in 2022, 50 former combatants were killed, a figure that represents a decrease of 7.4% compared to 2021. Since 2016, when peace was signed, 355 of them have been killed.

“As the government takes bold steps to reduce violence under its ‘comprehensive peace’ policy and implements a new approach to human security, coordinated implementation of the provisions of the Agreement on Security Guarantees is also essential.” Massieu insisted.

President Gustavo Petro – the first leftist in Colombia’s history and a former guerrilla in his youth – has proposed dialogue with various armed actors in his project called “Complete Peace” which includes a diversity of illegal armed groups and drug traffickers Is.

From November 2022, it resumed talks with the National Liberation Army, believed to be the last active guerrilla after the FARC laid down its arms in 2016. In early 2023, the government agreed to a six-month bilateral ceasefire with the FARC, with two disagreements. , the Self-Defense Force of the Sierra Nevada—the successor to paramilitarism—and the Clan del Golfo cartel. The United Nations, along with the OAS, state ombudsman offices and the Catholic Church, will be in charge of verifying this.

Macieu pointed out that if the bilateral ceasefire is carefully designed and carried out with commitment, the measure agreed with the armed groups could help reduce violence in Colombia.

During the session, delegates from France, Malta, Albania, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Brazil and Ecuador rejected the attempted attack against the Colombian Vice President., Francia Márquez, who on Tuesday condemned the discovery of explosives on a road leading to her family’s residence. The device was detonated in a controlled manner by the police.

Márquez, in his first speech before the Security Council as Vice President of Colombia, thanked the solidarity expressed against him for the acts of violence.

In addition, he highlighted that the Security Council approved on Wednesday the extension of the mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia to monitor rural reform and the implementation of the ethnic chapter, which is part of the peace deal with the extinct FARC. Huh.

“This unanimous vote shows the importance of this agreement to the world,” Marquez said. As a government spokesman, he explained that “complete peace” includes an unrestricted commitment to abide by peace agreements signed with the FARC.

He said that at the heart of the government’s objective is to protect communities that are in the crossfire due to the actions of armed groups.

Marquez said, “We urge the United Nations to open its doors to an honest dialogue, a new path that allows us to solve the systematic violence in our country.” The pursuit of field peace.

Nation World News Desk
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