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Colombia’s new challenge: the reintegration of former rebel combatants.

FARC fighter in the jungle FARC fighter in the jungle Nadege Mazars /

14 March 2018

After stopping the fights and disarming the rebels, it is now time to prioritise reintegration of former fighters, the UN says.

In 2016, after years of conflict, a ceasefire was established between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) and the Colombian government. More than 14.000 combatants stopped the war and handed over their weapons. However, as the rebels lived mainly in the jungle, away from society, the challenge now is to reintegrate these people back.

The UN launched a mission to verify whether the Colombian authorities were respecting their peace agreements. The United Nations’ Secretary General, Mr Guterres will meet with the Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos Calderon during an official visit to discuss how to keep the current situation stable.

The UN Secretary General’s Special Representative Mr. Jean Arnault reported that a FARC group engaged in political integration for the upcoming elections would be the perfect opportunity for them to form a new party to represent their interests.

Efforts were made on both sides. The president of Colombia recognized their rights of land ownership. Members of the FARC group are willing to demonstrate that they are able to engage in sustainable activities such as agriculture and environmental protection. Nevertheless, the socioeconomic reintegration of the ancient fighters is not yet accomplished as some of them are still in prison.

In order to make the current ceasefire durable and to keep a low level of violence, both parties unanimously agreed on suspending military actions. The peace process is a milestone in the transition from war to peace, it not only sparked high hopes and expectations around the world but provides inspiration for those seeking an end to the conflict.  


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