World Bulletin / News Desk
The UN Mission in Colombia disabled on Friday the last machine gun R-15 that belonged to Farc (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).
The weapon turned out to be a symbol that marks the end of the disarmament process of the group that was once a guerilla and has become a political party.
President Juan Manuel Santos, chief of the UN Mission in Colombia, Jean Arnault, as well as several ministers and officers attended the historic event.
“No peace process in the world had seen such a high proportion of arms per number of combatants,” said President Santos.
A total of 8,994 weapons were turned to scrap-iron.
“Government and Farc asked for the guns to keep their original shape, so UN disabled them by cutting their important parts so that they won’t be used ever again for their original purpose,” stated Colonel José Luis Descalzo, chief of UN lying down of weapons process.
The event marks the end of a process that started on January 30, 2017; when Farc moved in to a designated rural areas as a secure place to lay down the weapons.
On August 15, Farc, the UN and the Colombian government performed a joint act in which the last containers of weapons were closed and transferred to a central warehouse.
On that same day, the UN Monitoring Mechanism announced it had 33 containers with 7,132 weapons and the location of over 1,000 coves with a variety of warlike material.
Last week, the UN Mission in Colombia concluded the removal of 750 coves in which light weapons, rifles, detonating cord, grenades and anti-personnel mines, were found, among others. The Mission assured that the Colombian army and government would be responsible for the remaining 248.
“UN hopes to have honored its commitment with the Colombian society,” said Jean Arnaut, chief of the mission in Colombia.
The iron collected from the weapons will be used in the creation of three statues: one of them will be located in the Rose Garden, next to the UN headquarters in New York; another one in Colombia and the last one in Cuba, a country that throughout the four years hosted the negotiators of the Government and the FARC.
The Government is leading discussions in order to collect ideas on how the statues should be and who should be in charge of their creation.
“This result makes us focus with a greater strength on what’s missing, and there are a lot of thing missing for us to build peace,” concluded President Santos.
The United Nations' International Labour Organization rarely creates this type of probe, known as a Commission of Inquiry. The last case was launched against Zimbabwe in 2008.
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