GPC wel­comes peace agree­ment in Colom­bia

Weekend Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

Guyana Peace Coun­cil (GPC) wel­comes re­cent de­vel­op­ments in Colom­bia sig­nal­ing a fur­ther con­sol­i­da­tion of ef­forts at peace­ful rec­on­cil­i­a­tion among guer­rilla move­ments and the govern­ment of Colom­bia.

In this re­gard, the GPC notes that while war con­tin­ues to rage in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan and war drums con­tinue beat harder and harder on Korean Peninsu- la, in Colom­bia, ef­forts at bring­ing an end to more than fifty years of armed strug­gle are bear­ing fruit.

Af­ter a third round of ne­go­ti­a­tions and hours be­fore Pope Fran­cis ar­rived in Colom­bia, the govern­ment of Colom­bia and the guer­rilla group call­ing it­self the Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion Front (ELN) reached agree­ment on a bi­lat­eral cease­fire un­der the theme " Yes We Can!"

The ne­go­ti­a­tions held in Quito, Ecuador is spon­sored by six guar­an­tor coun­tries namely; Brazil,Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Nor­way and Venezuela. The GPC com­mends the ef­forts of the guar­an­tor coun­tries to­wards the re­al­iza­tion of this no­ble cause.

This im­por­tant devel­op­ment comes in the wake of the re­cent an­nounce­ment by the larger, Revo­lu­tion­ary Armed Forces of Colom­bia (FARC), that it has trans­formed it­self from a guer­rilla move­ment into a po­lit­i­cal party ready to con­test fu­ture elec­tions in Colom­bia.

The FARC adopted as its new name; 'The Revo­lu­tion­ary Al­ter­na­tive Com­mon Force' mak­ing it a new po­lit­i­cal party which will al­low it to par­tic­i­pate in the le­gal po­lit­i­cal life of Colom­bia af­ter five years of ne­go­ti­a­tions in Cuba and the sign­ing of a his­toric agree­ment in Au­gust 2016.

The ELN is the only re- main­ing guer­rilla group in Colom­bia. It has de­cided to en­ter into ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Colom­bian govern­ment to bring an end to in­ter­nal guer­rilla war­fare in Colom­bia which left 300,000, dead; 46, 000 dis­ap­peared and 7 mil­lion dis­placed.

The cease­fire be­tween the Colom­bian govern­ment and the ELN will take ef­fect from Oc­to­ber 1, 2017 and will be valid for 102 days and will be sub­ject to re­newal as the ne­go­ti­a­tions pro­gresses.

The GPC con­grat­u­lates the govern­ment of Colom­bia, the FARC and ELN for the steps taken to fur­ther con­sol­i­date peace, democ­racy and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment ben­e­fi­cial to the peo­ple of Colom­bia.

The GPC ex­tends best wishes to the ne­go­ti­at­ing sides and wish them every suc­cess in fu­ture ne­go­ti­a­tions.

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