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Published On: Wed, Sep 27th, 2017

UN Mission in Colombia begins verification of FARC reintegration

nsnbc : The United Nations in Colombia, on Tuesday, began its second post-conflict mission in the country, verifying the reintegration of former guerrilla of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) in accordance with the peace treaty between the FARC-EP and the State.

FARC_UN Mission in Colombia_Colombia_Sep 2017The reintegration or reincorporation of the now demobilized and disarmed former guerrilla is a key aspect of the peace accord that ended the more than 52-year-long armed conflict between the FARC-EP and the State. The reintegration is – like many other aspects of the peace – not without controversy. Some parties, including some of the former guerrilla, say the government is failing the former guerrilla and failing to provide a collective reintegration and reincorporation program. Others, including members of Colombia’s political right and members of the US administration and Congress, allege that the FARC is not in compliance with the peace accord.

The reintegration or lack thereof could potentially affect some 14,000 formerly armed members of the FARC-EP. In the first months after December 1 2016, when the peace deal came into effect, the UN mediated and reported on irregularities that occurred during the FARC’s demobilization and disarmament. By mid-August the UN Mission in Colombia confirmed that the FARC had demobilized and disarmed its troops, allowing it to become a political party after more than half a century of violently opposing governments.

The new political mission, to be headed by a Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for an initial period of 12 months, is expected to verify implementation of several measures of the Final Agreement, including political, economic and social reincorporation or reintegration of the FARC-EP; the implementation of personal and collective security guarantees; and comprehensive programs on security and protection measures for communities and organizations in conflict-affected areas.

The UN’s mission chief in Colombia, Jean Arnault, said the international peace observers will undertake an objective and proactive verification. Arnault said it will present an impartial balance on compliance with the commitments so far to the parties and to society, aim to propose solutions and combine forces for its implementation, [and] seek to generate confidence and contribute to securing the support of the international community for the peace process in Colombia.

FARC founding congress_Sep 2017_Bogota_ColombiaIn early September 2017 Colombia’s former guerrilla las launched itself as Alternative Revolutionary Communal Forces keeping its FARC acronym and completing its transformation from a guerrilla to a legal, non-militant political party. It is therefore particularly important that the reintegration and reincorporation proceeds without delays, in accordance with the peace treaty, and that guarantees including safety guarantees are kept and fully implemented.

Changing the acronym from the FARC-EP to the FARC the party keeps the well-known acronym. The party also explains that the keeping of the acronym and the focus of revolutionary alternative has been chosen because the group will not deny its past and continue to be a revolutionary party that represents those who have been disenfranchised, to continue to be a voice for those who have no say, and so forth.

The party held a formal founding ceremony on September 1 on Bolivar Square, near the presidential palace in the heart of the political district in the capital. Demobilized and renamed, it now faces a struggle for political acceptance in a country scarred by decades of attacks and kidnappings. However, recent polls show that the FARC may not have enough support to aim at government, but that its approval ratings are better than the ones of most other parties, especially of those of established liberal – neoliberal and conservatives.

A/N – nsnbc 27.09.2017

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