FARC troops move to concentration zones

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 1 February 2017

On Tuesday 31 January FARC troops made the journey from the pre-grouping camps they have been in for the last few months to the 26 concentration zones where they will make the transition from an armed group as part of the peace agreement. Now more than 6,000 troops are ready to hand over their weapons and begin the reinsertion process.

Government officials stated that the enormous operation has involved more than 450 pickup trucks, 120 cargo trucks, 100 buses, 80 boats, 10 tractors and 35 mules. The guerrillas were accompanied by members of the tripartite monitoring mechanism that includes the government, the FARC and the UN.

According to the peace agreement, the FARC were meant to move to these zones five days after the signing of the agreement, which was on 1 December 2016. Yet the FARC could not make the move until the Amnesty Law was passed by the Colombian Congress on 28 December.

The implementation of the zones has suffered from logistical delays and they are far from ready. In the majority of the zones the housing is not ready to receive the guerrillas and there have been issues surrounding the state of the food. The NGO the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation stated that none of the zones is completely ready and that the government is responsible for these delays due to bureaucratic failures.

The UN will begin the process of receiving and cataloguing the FARC’s arms and weapons, a process which must be completed, following the original calendar, in six months.

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