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05 Mar 2015 description

Havana, Cuba | | Thursday 3/5/2015 - 16:25 GMT

Colombian army generals met commanders from leftist guerrilla group FARC for the first time Thursday to begin work on a ceasefire proposal aimed at ending their five-decade conflict.

The meeting marks the first time that military commanders from both sides have sat down together to discuss an end to the guerrilla war.

Peace talks have been going on in Cuba for the past two years, but have thus far involved government and rebel negotiators, not military commanders.

05 Mar 2015 description
report UN News Service

4 March 2015 – In eradicating sexual violence related to Colombia’s internal armed conflict, the main challenge now is translating resolve into tangible solutions in communities where the crime continues to occur, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Sexual Violence said at the conclusion of her trip to the Latin American country.

04 Mar 2015 description
report Human Rights Watch

Government Fails to Stop Criminal Groups’ Abuses

(Buenaventura, March 4, 2015) – Paramilitary successor groups are abducting, “disappearing,” and dismembering residents of the mostly Afro-Colombian port of Buenaventura, despite government measures announced a year ago to curb the violence, Human Rights Watch said today.

04 Mar 2015 description

Havana, Cuba | | Wednesday 3/4/2015 - 18:19 GMT

Colombia's FARC rebels called on the government Wednesday to release classified military and intelligence files about the half-century old civil war, saying full disclosure is key to any future reconciliation between the two sides.

The Bogota government should "proceed to open up its official archives and definitively declassify information regarding various issues related to the conflict," said Joaquin Gomez, a negotiator for the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia group.

03 Mar 2015 description

During 2014, one of the driest seasons of the recent years accounted for half of all people affected by natural disasters. For 2015, there is a likelihood for continuing dry conditions. The extremely dry season has led to drought, water shortages, forest fires and access constraints due to low river levels. That affected 794.028 people in the Caribbean and Andean regions, while in other regions heavy rains caused floods affecting 295.908 people.

03 Mar 2015 description

Havana, Cuba | | Tuesday 3/3/2015 - 17:41 GMT

Colombia's leftist FARC guerrillas said Tuesday they will not sign any peace deal that allows their members to be tried and jailed.

"We insist that no deal is possible if it allows for a single day of prison for any guerrilla for having exercised the right to rebellion," the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) said in a statement read out by peace negotiator Ricardo Tellez.

02 Mar 2015 description

Havana, Cuba | AFP | Monday 3/2/2015 - 18:51 GMT

The US special envoy for the Colombian peace process wrapped up a visit to Havana, where talks between the government and leftist FARC guerrillas to end five decade of fighting are underway.

Bernard Aronson, the recently-appointed envoy, left Cuba after meeting with both sides, a government official said Monday.

"Last night was the end of the visit by the US envoy Bernie Aronson. The delegations met separately with him twice," chief government negotiator Humberto de la Calle said.

27 Feb 2015 description
report AlertNet

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Thu, 26 Feb 2015 18:17 GMT
Author: Anastasia Moloney

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - From a mother whose son was killed by government forces, and a woman whose four siblings were dismembered by paramilitaries, to a child forced to join the rebel ranks, victims of the Colombian conflict are calling for unity in support of peace efforts.

Read the full article on AlertNet

26 Feb 2015 description
report Reuters - AlertNet

Source: Reuters - Thu, 26 Feb 2015 01:05 GMT
Author: Reuters

BOGOTA, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Those responsible for crimes committed during Colombia's 50-year war must be held accountable as part of a peace deal between the government and Marxist rebels, ex-United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said on Wednesday.

Read more on AlertNet.

26 Feb 2015 description
report Reuters - AlertNet

Source: Reuters - Wed, 25 Feb 2015 20:22 GMT
Author: Reuters

By Luis Jaime Acosta

BOGOTA, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Colombia's ongoing peace negotiations with Marxist FARC rebels saved 5,000 people from being killed or injured last year, amid fewer confrontations between the military and guerrillas, according to a report by a local think-tank on Wednesday.

Read more on AlertNet

25 Feb 2015 description

Wednesday 2/25/2015 - 16:20 GMT

Colombia's government and leftist rebels launched a new round of peace talks Wednesday, one day ahead of the arrival of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to help facilitate negotiations.

The talks between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), now into their third year, are resuming after a two-week hiatus.

25 Feb 2015 description

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, and the Director General for Africa, Asia, Latin America, Near- and Middle East of the Foreign Office of Germany, Clemens von Goetze, announced today that the European country would add two million euros to its contribution to the Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP/OAS).

20 Feb 2015 description

Remarks

John Kerry

Secretary of State

Treaty Room

Washington, DC

February 20, 2015

ASSISTANT SECRETARY JACOBSON: Good morning, everyone. Thank you for being here. I would like to introduce Secretary of State John Kerry.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. Thank you very much, Assistant Secretary Jacobson. Let me say that I’m pleased the ambassador – Colombia’s Ambassador Villegas – thank you for joining us, and good morning, everybody.

20 Feb 2015 description

Colombia - IOM and UNODC have signed an agreement with the Colombian Government to provide technical support to the judicial police, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Health, and other state institutions, in its fight against human trafficking, which last year enslaved at least 62 Colombians abroad and inside the country.

20 Feb 2015 description

(Watchlist Press Release) - Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict is concerned that the peace process between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia People’s Army (FARC–EP) in Havana, still falls short of recognizing child soldiers as victims of the conflict.

17 Feb 2015 description
report AlertNet

Anastasia Moloney

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Carlos and five other teenagers arrived at a remote farm in Colombia's eastern plains where they had been promised work as labourers, they were horrified to be met by armed men who blindfolded them and ordered them to stand in line.

Read the full ariticle

16 Feb 2015 description
report Geneva Call

Geneva Call welcomes the announcement by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) that they will raise the minimum age of incorporation into their forces from 15 to 17. Geneva Call finds this to be a positive first step for the well-being and protection of conflict-affected children in Colombia, and an important gesture in the context of the peace process with the Government and towards the Colombian society and international community.

12 Feb 2015 description

2/13/2015 - 01:25 GMT

Colombia's FARC guerrillas pledged Thursday not to recruit fighters aged under 17, but the country's President Juan Manuel Santos said the move did not go far enough.

It comes as the leftist rebels and the Colombian government are meeting in Cuba in an attempt to thrash out a peace deal to end five decades of conflict that have left 220,000 people dead.

Ivan Marquez, the rebels' chief peace negotiator in the two-year-old talks, said the FARC would raise the minimum age for recruits from 15 to 17.