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Published On: Sun, Dec 11th, 2016

Colombia’s FARC prepares demobilization despite legal limbo

nsnbc : The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) said Saturday that they had begun preparing the logistics for its demobilization despite the fact that a ruling by the Constitutional Court on an amnesty for guerrilla who haven’t been charged with war crimes had been substantially delayed.

farc_colombia_carlos-lodoza_dec-2016FARC units have begun the gradual implementation of the demobilization of the guerrilla and the coordination of the process with the country’s military and the United Nations. That is, FARC units are in the process of coordinating the transportation of guerrilla to demobilization camps with the military, the government and the UN.

The demobilization should have begun one week ago but was delayed when it transpired that the Constitutional Court had delayed the final approval of the revised peace accord and an amnesty law for those guerrilla who haven’t been charged with war crimes in particular.

The  ruling will be delayed to January, February, or even March 2017. FARC guerrilla who enter the demobilization camps will, in other words, be in a legal limbo until such time. The FARC also noted that the government had not prepared some of the camps where the guerrillas would demobilize and surrender their weapons to United Nations observers.

The FARC’s Carlos E. Lodoza used his Twitter account to note that the UN, the military and the FARC had begun “defining the logistics” of the demobilization. Colombian Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villages, for his part, told the press that the process was in more advanced stages, and that “all FARC structures are today moving towards the Rural Transitory Normalization Zones so that on D+30 day all members will be in them.”

Both statements are widely perceived as “political rather than practical”. December 31, D+30 was initially set as the deadline for the FARC’s full and effective demobilization, making any guerrilla who hasn’t entered the camp a deserter. However, all of the parties appear to understand both the logistic, political and legal complexity of the situation, so delays are expected to be perceived as “normal”.

The FARC’s 1st Front, however, announced that it will not participate in the peace process. It is the only FARC unit that does not participate. The UN, for its part, recognized the “legal constraints” set off by the rejection of the October 2 referendum on an initial peace deal, “impacting the administrative, technical and logistical preparations for the implementation.”

A/N & F/AK – 11.12.2016

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