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Colombia: UN-led mechanism investigating alleged ceasefire violation

Observers from the UN Mission in Colombia and the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People’s Army (FARC-EP), start work at the national headquarters of the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism in charge of overseeing the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities in the country.
Observers from the UN Mission in Colombia and the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People’s Army (FARC-EP), start work at the national headquarters of the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism in charge of overseeing the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities in the country. Photo: UN Mission in Colombia

17 November 2016 – The tripartite Mechanism coordinated by the United Nations and comprising the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) has started investigations into a 15 November incident in the country’s Santa Rosa municipality that resulted in the deaths of two FARC-EP members.

“The tripartite Mechanism deeply regrets and expresses concern about the first deaths since the beginning of the Bilateral Ceasefire and Cessation of Hostilities, on 29 August,” read a news release issued by the Mechanism, which is coordinated by the UN Mission in Colombia.

“Upon completing the investigation, the Mechanism will issue the necessary recommendations to avoid recurrence of such incidents,” it added.

A third FARC-EP member – who was unharmed in the incident – is also being investigated, noted the release.

The tripartite Mechanism is monitoring and verifying the ceasefire under a protocol, agreed by the Government of Colombia and FARC-EP, according to which they agreed “not to enter armed contact” and “to maintain the discipline and control of the units so as not to generate acts or incidents that endanger the ceasefire.”

As part of its mandate, the Mechanism is also investigating another alleged incident in the municipality of Tumaco, department of Nariño (located in southwest Colombia).

Also in the news release, the Mechanism called upon the two parties to facilitate the flow of information and to maintain communications that will strengthen its coordination. It also said that it is open to receiving information from civilians and social organizations.

The release also highlighted that the Mechanism underlined the importance of maintaining the parties’ commitment to respect the Bilateral Ceasefire and Cessation of Hostilities.

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