Colombian authorities Monday announced the unilateral suspension of the ceasefire with dissident Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), known as the Central General Staff (EMC-FARC), after the recruitment and murder of four children from the Murui indigenous community, it was reported in Bogota.
After listening to delegates from the communities and the Extraordinary Security Council -and due to the serious violation of International Humanitarian Law by this organization outside the law, added to other facts that generate uncertainty and anxiety in the population-, the Government took the unilateral decision to partially suspend the effects of Decree 2656 of 2022, the government of President Gustavo Petro said in a statement.
The note dated Sunday mentions the atrocious killings of boys aged between 14 and 16 in the department of Putumayo was a slap in the face of peace by the armed group. After that, EMC-FARC delegates were summoned to a meeting, but they did not attend.
As a consequence, it is reported that the bilateral ceasefire that currently existed with this armed group in the departments of Meta, Caquetá, Guaviare, and Putumayo is suspended and the offensive operations are reactivated, the document signed by Petro went on. The decision will become effective in the next 72 hours, it added.
The Colombian government recognized, on the other hand, the effectiveness of the bilateral ceasefire in other territories where it can be verified that damage to the lives of the inhabitants has been avoided and assured that it will accompany the communities that are clamoring for peace in their territories and that it will be present in a comprehensive manner throughout the country.
The EMC-FARC is invited to ratify the participation of its delegates in the local mechanisms in which the ceasefire is still in force, the statement insisted.
According to Ombudsman Carlos Camargo, the minors were forcibly recruited in the rural area of Leguízamo (Putumayo) by the Dissidence Front 1 Carolina Ramírez of the FARC and were killed after deserting.
Recruiting and murdering children and adolescents from indigenous communities are not exactly gestures of goodwill to achieve peace. In addition to being clear violations of International Humanitarian Law, what it generates is social rejection and distrust towards the armed groups that claim to have intentions to dialogue with the government in the face of a negotiation process, Camargo said.
According to risk monitoring data from the Integral System for Peace, from January to May 2023, 63 cases of child recruitment by groups such as the Clan del Golfo, FARC dissidents, and ELN guerrillas have been reported.
As part of its total peace policy, Petro's government included the dissidents of the extinct FARC guerrilla in a dialogue process to put an end to the armed conflict in the country. Led by alias Iván Mordisco, these dissidents are 3,200-member strong and are present in at least 16 departments of Colombia.
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