Security Council calls for tackling violence in conflict-affected areas in Colombia

Image provided by the Colombian Presidency shows President Ivan Duque (left) speaking alongside UN Secretary General António Guterres (3rd from right) during the celebrations for the 5th anniversary of the Peace Agreement between the government and FARC – Colombian Presidency/ AFP

The UN Security Council asked this Wednesday (24) the Colombian authorities to “address the violence that is being registered in the areas affected by the armed conflict” and strengthen security.

The violence affects, above all, ex-guerrillas who laid down their arms five years ago, after the signing of the Peace Accords, and community leaders, mainly from indigenous and Afro-descendant communities.

The highest decision-making body of the UN for the maintenance of peace and security in the world highlighted, in a statement, its “concern” for the “incessant threats, attacks and murders” against former guerrillas who laid down their weapons in Colombia after the agreements, thus as community leaders. Since 2016, around 300 guerrillas have been murdered in Colombia.

Furthermore, the members of the Security Council insisted that it is necessary to “carry out deep rural reforms” and “enhance the presence” of the State, as well as improve education and employment opportunities, including for ex-combatants, in these regions.

This Wednesday, Colombia celebrated the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Peace Agreement that made possible the disarmament of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas with a meeting between protagonists and critics, in the presence of the UN secretary general, António Guterres.

In the act, which was celebrated at the headquarters of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), the transitional court that judges the worst crimes of the conflict, the former commander of the extinct FARC, Rodrigo Londoño, once again asked for forgiveness and renewed the commitment of the vast majority of the 13,000 men and women who remain faithful to the Peace Agreements.

Five decades of conflict have left 9 million victims, including dead, mutilated, kidnapped and missing.

In this regard, the members of the Security Council, which is currently chaired by Mexico, reiterated their “total and unanimous” support for the peace process and their willingness to continue accompanying Colombians on their path to peace.

According to the United Nations body, the Colombian process is an “example to the world that it is possible to resolve armed conflicts through dialogue”.

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