Rebel group FARC must agree to submit to transitional justice and its disarmament before the government can agree to a bilateral ceasefire, according to Colombia’s chief government negotiator at ongoing peace talks.
Speaking at a Bogota university last Sunday, chief negotiator Humberto de la Calle noted that a successful agreement to definitely end hostilities must include transitional justice measures, the surrender of arms by the country’s largest guerrilla organization and the logistics of a truce.
De la Calle said he believes that a truce can be achieved prior to a final peace deal if both sides take the three requirements seriously.
His words come at a time when both the Colombian government and FARC have already begun to take progressive measures to deescalate violence in Colombia while the negotiating teams in Havana work on the necessary concessions.
On July 20, the guerrillas enforced their second unilateral ceasefire this year. President Juan Manuel Santos responded on July 25 by ordering an end to aerial strikes on FARC targets.
De la Calle stressed that success will rely on international monitoring and supervision. He revealed last Sunday that Uruguay’s former defense minister and the United Nations will oversee the verification of the end of armed actions.
Colombia’s peace talks began in November 2012 and have since resulted in partial agreements on rural reform, the FARC’s participation in politics and the rebels’ abandonment of drug trafficking, one of their main sources of income with which they finance their uprising.
While currently on a two week holiday, the negotiators are currently divided into two commissions, one dealing with Victims that includes transitional justice and one dealing with End of Conflict, which negotiates the FARC’s surrendering of weapons and the guerrillas’ submission a transitional justice scheme that complies with international humanitarian law.
If the talks are successful, the FARC will end their 51-year-long violent uprising and promote their Marxist ideals politically through non-violent means.
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