June 3, 2023

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The Colombian government suspended a ceasefire with FARC rebels after the deaths of four minors

(CNN Spanish) — Colombian President Gustavo Pedro announced the suspension A cease-fire with the Estado Mayor Central (EMC-FARC), a dissident armed group made up of former FARC members that rejected a peace accord in 2016.

“The government has made a unilateral decision to partially suspend the effects of Decree 2656 of 2022,” the president said, through which a bilateral ceasefire was agreed with the FARC-EP’s central public servants for the “murder” of four minors. Lead by Carolina Ramirez of EMC in Pudumayo. Office of the High Commissioner for Peace of Colombia Responsible for this Saturday Before Carolina Ramírez of EMC-FARC of facts.

According to reports, the minors were abducted and later killed while trying to join the group.

“We firmly reject this criminal act by the Carolina Ramírez Front of the EMC-FARC, which constitutes an attack against peace in disregard of IHL,” the Office of the High Commissioner for La Paz said.

Pedro said on Saturday The killing of the four minors was “a heinous crime, a breach of international humanitarian law that violates the foundations of international humanitarian law,” he said.

The offensive continues

This Monday, the government said in a statement, that the bilateral ceasefire in place in the provinces of Meta, Kaqueta, Querea and Putumayo in the historically war-torn central and southwestern part of the country has been suspended. . —, and “all offensive operations will be resumed within 72 hours”. Actions by the General Force will be carried out “with respect for human rights and international humanitarian law”.

The Colombian government said the ceasefire monitoring mechanism had invited EMC-FARC members, but they had “excused themselves from participating”.

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“If the bilateral ceasefire is not effective in some regions to protect the lives and integrity of the entire population, there is no point in continuing it,” said the government statement, which defended the cessation of armed operations in other regions. “Irreparable damage to civilian life and integrity was avoided.”

The Central Public Service expressed its willingness to set up a dialogue table with the government in mid-April and start peace talks. This May 21, Pedro’s government announced that it will announce the names of the representatives who will be part of the dialogue table with this dissident group.

The government said it would propose strengthening the “ceasefire” with a regional character on the negotiating table.

The EMC is one of two dissident factions of the FARC, made up of former leaders and fighters who do not accept a peace accord that allowed 13,000 people to reintegrate into civilian life after forming a political party in 2016 and winning 10 seats. In Congress.

The Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa, suspended arrest warrants against 20 members of the EMC in early March, leading to a meeting of EMC leaders in Llanos del Yari, where they agreed on a date to establish the schedule. Conversation.

The 3,530-strong group, which includes 2,180 fighters and 1,350 auxiliaries, has been maintaining a bilateral ceasefire with the Colombian government since earlier this year.

— with information from Reuters.