It’s a critical moment in the years-long peace process between Colombia and the FARC rebels.
This week, the delegates from the Colombian government, rebel group and United Nations met to discuss resettlement plans for the rebels following the signing of a peace deal.
CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports.
Major challenges remain in Colombia-FARC peace talksIt’s a critical moment in the years-long peace process between Colombia and the FARC rebels. This week, the delegates from the Colombian government, rebel group and United Nations met to discuss resettlement plans for the rebels following the signing of a peace deal. CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports.
A helicopter from the Colombian Armed Forces took delegates from the United Nations, Colombian Government and FARC rebel group to the Colombian rural town of Villavicencio.
This is their first visit to one of the nearly two-dozen designated areas across Colombia where guerilla members of the leftist rebel group will surrender their weapons.
“We have to look at the geographical features to see if they correspond or not, to ensure that the size complies so that the United Nations can start the three-party verification process,” Sergio Jaramillo, the high commissioner for Peace in Colombia said.
In June, the Colombian government and FARC announced they had finished negotiating the terms for a bilateral ceasefire. The rebels agreed to lay down their weapons within a week of the signing of a final peace deal and to a full disarmament 180 days after that.
Under the agreement, the guerilla group will demobilize into 23 temporary transition zones and eight camp sites. The ceasefire will start when a final deal is reached but for all intents and purposes, both sides have stopped fighting.
“What we have said is that while the agreement is not in forc undoubtedly, it would not be possible to start the relocation process,” Carlos Antonio Lozada, the commander of FARC-EP said.
While negotiators work on the details of an official agreement in Havana Colombia is preparing the precise location of the temporary zones.
The Red Cross is part of the international observer committee, but Colombian officials said logistical consultations with locals are just as important.
Marcela Duran, Colombian government spokeswoman said the groups were divided into two. One met with the community leaders to explain the scope of this visit and the second composed of officers of the public force, FARC-EP commanders of different areas, engineers, surveyors, logistic and communications experts, to review the places where the zones will be located.
The visits to the transition sites will continue in the coming days and a report will be compiled by the end of next week and presented to the United Nations Security Council. The UN will be in charge of sending observers to monitor the disarmament.
CCTV panel discusses FARC peace talk
For more on the FARC peace talks and the future of Colombia, CCTV America’s Asieh Namdar spoke with CCTV’s Micheal Voss and Michelle Begue for a round table discussion.