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UN approves mission to monitor Colombia peace deal

© AFP file photo | A relative of a victim of the armed conflict in Colombia in Villavicencio, on December 17, 2015.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2016-01-26

The United Nations agreed Monday to monitor the expected end of a decades-long conflict between the Colombian government and FARC rebels.

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution that, at the request of the two sides, establishes a “political mission” with international observers tasked in particular with monitoring the disarming of the leftist guerrillas.

The mission will be put in place for a period of 12 months with the possibility of extending it in order to “monitor and verify a definitive bilateral ceasefire and cessation of hostilities” between Bogota and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels, said the text.

The resolution requests that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon begin preparations for such a mission now and submit details on its size, operational aspects and mandate for Security Council consideration and approval within 30 days of the signing of a peace agreement.

Diplomats said that the mandate and operational details of the deployment of observers would be dealt with by a second resolution, which could be adopted in February when Venezuela holds the council’s rotating presidency.

Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar attended Monday’s Security Council session.

Peace talks between Bogota and the FARC in Havana have made several key advances in recent months, and the two sides have set a deadline of March 23 to sign a final accord—though the FARC have warned that “substantial” obstacles could get in the way.

They have signed deals on four of the six agenda items at the talks: justice for victims, land reform, political participation for ex-rebels and fighting the drug trafficking that has fuelled the conflict in the world’s largest cocaine-producing country.

The unsettled issues are disarmament and the mechanism by which the final accord will be ratified.

The Colombian conflict, which has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced six million, has drawn in right-wing paramilitaries, drug traffickers and several leftist rebel groups, of which the FARC is the oldest and largest remaining.

(AFP)
 

Date created : 2016-01-26

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