Kidnapping mars historic UN Secruty Council visit to Colombia

World Today

Rebels in Colombia have kidnapped a United Nations worker just as Security Council officials arrive in the country to get a progress report on last year’s peace deal between the rebels and the government.

Authorities believe a rogue group of FARC rebels abducted the worker. 

CGTN’s Michelle Begue reports from Bogota.

Kidnapping mars historic UN Security Council visit to Colombia

A United Nations worker is kidnapped just as Security Council officials arrive for a progress report on the peace deal between the rebels and the government. Authorities believe a rogue group of FARC rebels are responsible for the kidnapping.

The alleged captors reportedly reject the deal to disarm that FARC rebels signed with the government. U.N. officials traveled to the South American country in hopes of promoting the reconciliation process.

The United Nations Security Council wants to show its commitment to Colombia’s peace process, despite challenges.  That was the message brought by the 15-member council on a three-day visit to Colombia.

In a private meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, the ambassadors were briefed on the progress and problems in implementing the country’s historic peace agreement with FARC. President Santos thanked them for their support and highlighted the importance of the trip – the first-ever visit here by the Security Council.

Some 450 U.N. observers are currently overseeing disarmament efforts at more than 20 rebel camps across the country. 

British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, who is co-leading the visit, said the U.N. would remain in Colombia as long as it takes to secure peace.

But just as the Security Council arrived for the visit, a U.N. employee was kidnapped in the southern state of Guaviare. Officials believe a splinter FARC group carried out the abduction. The kidnapped man – a Colombian national – was working in a U.N. crop substitution program. Government and U.N. officials are working to negotiate the worker’s release.