World

Colombia: UN oversee the disarmament of the FARC

Sandra Isaza et Carlos Ochoa font partie des 16 ex guérilleros graciés par le président colombien Juan Manuel Santos et libérés mercredi.

Sandra Isaza and Carlos Ochoa are among 16 former guerrillas pardoned by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and released on Wednesday Photo credit:. GUILLERMO Legaria / AFP

The guerrillas and the Colombian government have agreed to ask the UN to oversee the disarmament of guerrillas which should start no later than one month after the signing of peace agreements scheduled March 23.

Maria Angela Holguin, Colombian Foreign Minister, visited yesterday in New York to present to the UN Security Council the joint request of the FARC and the Colombian government to support the FARC disarmament process. This should commit later than 60 days after the signing of the peace agreement which is expected on March 23. The Colombian government and the FARC agreed to ask the UN to establish a mission to oversee the disarmament in Colombia. The guerrilla, who was hostile to it a few months ago, finally accepted the appeal to the UN.

“unarmed international observers”

The mission should last twelve months and will consist of “unarmed international observers.” There are currently 38 such missions worldwide. The neighboring countries will not participate, according to UN tradition. The tripartite supervision mission, government-FARC UN, will be led by representatives of the UN. The government and the guerrillas are equally represented. It is not peacekeepers, so armed, but only “political observers”. The mission will be fully financed by the UN.

Juan Manuel Santos insisted on the creation of this peacekeeping mission to involve the UN and especially the members of the Security Council in the ongoing peace process Colombia. Because being negotiated peace agreements are fragile. The concept of “transitional justice” for agreements should prevent the members of the FARC to go through the prison for crimes they committed. The idea is to exchange the truth against reduced sentences. This justice concerns the guerrillas but also the military accused of extortion in connection with the fight against the FARC.

But since the Rome Convention of 1998 and the creation of the international criminal court, the court may replace national justice if it considers that crimes against humanity may go unpunished. This greatly weaken the signed agreements. Call on the UN to oversee the disarmament provides the major powers involved in the process that will be harder to question, even by the CFI.

A major challenge remains for organizing the disarmament where and how members will be grouped FARC. The proliferation of assembly sites will make it very difficult to control this disarmament. But the guerrillas believes that these groupings should be as close to the areas where the fronts are currently operating. Once disarmed, it will protect them from possible actions of paramilitary guerrillas. The Colombian army will ensure security of their former adversaries!

But both parties seem genuinely decided today to sign an agreement. The joint request for assistance to the United Nations attests. In a goodwill gesture, the Colombian government has pardoned thirty guerrillas. The only condition: that their conviction is linked only political reasons, such as “rebellion” and not for blood crimes. The first sixteen beneficiaries of this measure are out of prison Wednesday after pledging not to take up arms. Many of them will join the negotiators in Havana who are to settle the final details of a negotiation before signing peace agreements March 23.

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