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Published On: Sat, Jul 15th, 2017

UN blasts Colombian government: 1,400 FARC members on hunger strike

nsnbc : The United Nations, in an extraordinarily harsh statement, blasted the Colombian government for failing to release demobilized FARC members and guarantee their protection. Meanwhile, 1,400 demobilized FARC guerrilla launched a hunger strike to protest against the violation of the peace accord.

FARC demobilization camp - former guerrilla are facing uncertainties about their physical security and their future in general.

FARC demobilization camp – former guerrilla are facing uncertainties about their physical security and their future in general.

In an extraordinarily harsh statement, the UN Mission in Colombia blasted the government for undermining the Colombian peace process by failing to release and protect disarmed guerrilla as stipulated in the peace accord between the State and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP).

The UN mission stressed that the government must act responsibly and swiftly to put an end to a situation that weakens peace building efforts. The UN Mission in Colombia also stressed that:

“The detention of members of the FARC-EP in six prisons six months after the Congressional approval of the Amnesty Law, and two weeks after the disarmament of individuals undermines the reintegration process and the consolidation of peace.”

On July 10, 2017, President Juan Manuel Santos signed a decree on Monday, granting amnesty to 3,252 disarmed FARC-EP guerrilla. The decree signed by President Santos on Monday was the third of its kind. A total of 6,005 disarmed and demobilized FARC-EP guerrilla. Non of those who were granted amnesty are accused of serious crimes or war crimes.

Another 1,400 FARC guerrilla will have to apply for amnesty before a judge. Hundreds of them are incarcerated in prisons. Judges, within the transitional justice system, will have to clarify whether they are guilty of alleged war  crimes or other serious crimes including rape, and eventual reparations to victims, before it will be determined whether they are “fit to reintegrate in society and participate in politics”.

However, this process is painstakingly slow, much too slow according to the UN Mission in Colombia and the FARC. Moreover, less than 900 of those who have been pardoned have thus far actually been released. More than 1,400 FARC members have now launched an open-ended hunger strike and more members are likely to join unless the government lives up to the guarantees it gave in the peace accords.

CH/L & A/N – nsnbc 15.07.2017

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