UN asked to oversee end to conflict in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The Government of the Republic of Colombia and the FARC-EP Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia have this week asked the UN for a mission to oversee the end to six decades of conflict.

Since peace talks started in Havana in November 2012, negotiators have reached agreement on key issues such as the political participation of the rebels, land rights, drug trafficking and transitional justice. During this time the FARC-EP has announced several unilateral ceasefires and the government has scaled down military operations.

Negotiators from both sides at the peace talks have now said they hope to reach a final peace deal to end the conflict by the 23 March 2016, including an agreement on a bilateral and definitive ceasefire and the decommissioning of weapons.

In a joint communique the negotiators also proposed that once a final agreement has been reached, a tripartite monitoring and verification mechanisms should be put in place to ensure full compliance with agreed commitments. This mechanism would comprise the Government of Colombia, the FARC-EP and an international component.

Both sides have agreed that the international component should be a political mission from the UN and the observers should be from countries belonging to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). The mission would guarantee that any ceasefire and disarmament would be genuine and permanent.

The UN Security Council has been asked to start putting together the political mission with unarmed observers for a period of 12 months, renewable on request. The UN has yet to agree to the proposal.

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