Colombia sends military envoy to peace talks in Havana

The military is to advise only on the issue of disarmament and demobilization.

Colombia sends military envoy to peace talks in Havana

World Bulletin / News Desk

As peace talks between FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government continue in Havana, a delegation of active Colombian military officials arrived to advise the government’s negotiating team on the issues of a ceasefire and how to end the conflict.

This military sub commission, led by army Gen. Jorge Enrique Mora Rangel and police Gen. Óscar Adolfo Naranjo Trujillo, has been designed with the objective of finding and constructing initiatives for the disarmament, demobilization and ceasefire that will take place if a final agreement is signed.

“Peace cannot be reached without the advice, without the input and without the participation of the armed forces and the police,” said Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos during a Friday press conference.

The sub commission will not directly attend the ongoing peace talks that began in November 2012 and that is currently addressing the issue of victims of the conflict. The team will be present to advise Colombia’s government negotiators led by Humberto de la Calle regarding an end to the conflict and will answer only to the Colombian president.

“For the first time in history, for the first time in 50 years of conflict, the discussion is beginning about a definitive ceasefire and laying down of weapons,” said President Santos. In the president’s words, the team is there to begin the process of “transition and planning” regarding demobilization.

News that members of the military have been sent to Cuba was well received by various politicians but criticized by others.

“The participation of serving members of the military in this process lends itself to a historic reconstruction of the conflict, establishing various points of view from each actor involved. This can help establish the assurance of security and clear norms for disarming,” said Vice President of the House of Representatives Efrain Torres Monsalvo in an interview with El Espectador newspaper.

The most vocal opponent of the military envoy going to Cuba has been former president and current Sen. Alvaro Uribe Velez, who has suggested that this action by President Santos is an “abuse of power.”

Since 1958, the civil conflict in Colombia has caused the deaths of 220,000 people and displaced more than 5 million, according to Human Rights Watch.

Last Mod: 23 Ağustos 2014, 09:47
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