11 Feb 2016
New York – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, welcomes yesterday’s confirmation by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP) that they will stop the recruitment and use of children under 18.
“I am heartened by the FARC-EP’s public announcement and, as the peace negotiations are progressing, I am pleased to see that the protection of children continues to receive the attention it deserves,” declared Leila Zerrougui.
Bogota, Colombia | AFP | Thursday 2/11/2016 - 23:37 GMT
Colombian lawmakers will meet beginning Tuesday to create zones where FARC rebels can turn over their arms, in anticipation of a peace deal that would end a half-century of conflict, sources said.
President Juan Manuel Santos has ordered Congress to convene in special sessions lasting from February 16 to March 16 as he closes in on a deal with FARC rebels, congressional sources told AFP on Thursday.
Havana, Cuba | AFP | 2/11/2016 - 01:18 GMT
Colombia's FARC rebels promised Wednesday to end recruitment of child soldiers, in a fresh bid to seal a peace deal ending a half-century conflict.
At talks in Cuba, the leftist guerrilla group had already pledged to stop recruiting fighters under 17, but the Colombian government said that did not go far enough.
International authorities and rights groups define any member of a force under the age of 18 as a child soldier.
By Anastasia Moloney
BOGOTA, Feb 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Nearly 100 Colombians suffering from the Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare nerve disorder, also have symptoms of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, Colombia's National Health Institute has said.
Amnesty International reiterates its support for the work of the Office in Colombia of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to improve respect for human rights. Its work, especially human rights monitoring, will become even more critical given the uncertain human rights challenges of a peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). To address these challenges, especially preventing human rights abuses and violations and combatting impunity, the Office’s monitoring role should be strengthened.
Bogota, Colombia | AFP | Monday 2/8/2016 - 20:58 GMT
Colombia vowed Monday to step up the fight against the country's second-biggest rebel group, despite claims it was ready to join in a peace drive to end decades of conflict.
President Juan Manuel Santos spoke after a meeting of security officials prompted by an attack early Monday on a military brigade, blamed on the leftist ELN, or National Liberation Army.
He said he had ordered the military "to intensify operations against the ELN and all the forms of delinquency that stem from its presence."
Ongoing peace talks between the GoC and the FARC-EP represent a major opportunity to end 50 years of conflict. Despite the positive impact of the peace process on some indicators, violence caused by all armed groups continues to cause forced displacement, landmine contamination, sexual violence and recruitment of children and adolescents. Colombia's propensity for natural disasters combines with armed violence events to create double vulnerability for much of the population.
'Colombia is one of the countries in the world that is most contaminated by landmines. It will be essential to clear the mines and other unexploded ordnances in order to enable many of the over six million internally displaced people to return to their homes once a peace agreement is in place. Mine clearance is therefore a crucial task for Colombia, partner countries such as Norway and the US, and the rest of the international community,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
February 04, 2016
Colombia: Break-in and robbery of important and sensitive human rights information from the offices of Tierra Digna’s Lawyers
The lawyers office of the Centre for the Studies for Social Justice -Tierra Digna’s was broken into during the night of the 19 January 2016 and a laptop containing sensitive information pertaining to human rights cases was stolen. It is notable that this was the only item stolen despite the robbers having access to the rest of the office.
In Colombia, huge challenges remain in order to achieve peace and important issues need to be settled between the parties.
Summary of WFP assistance:
UARIV makes a balance of 2015 and gives priorities for 2016
Humanitarian year in review
El Niño impacts Colombia
UNGRD focuses on prevention for successful risk management
2016: strengthening local authorities for prevention and assistance to humanitarian emergencies
By Paula Gaviria, Director of the Victim’s Unit, Unidad para la Atención y Reparación Integral a Víctimas (UARIV)
Source: Reuters - Tue, 2 Feb 2016 17:26 GMT
BOGOTA, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Colombia's government on Tuesday warned the country's second-largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), that time is running out to begin peace negotiations to end five decades of war.
Read the full article on Reuters - AlertNet.
Red alert due to Wild Fires in Caqueta and Santander Department: Wild Fires in four municipalities of Caqueta Department, and 85 out of the 87 municipalities in Santander Department resulted in a red alert for wild fires since January 30, 2016. Severe drought in more than a dozen of the municipalities required at least 60,000 liters of water to be delivered by trucks.
Civilians in Colombia continue to suffer serious abuses perpetrated by guerrillas, as well as by successor groups to paramilitaries that emerged after an official paramilitary demobilization process a decade ago. Violence associated with Colombia’s internal armed conflict has forcibly displaced more than 6.8 million Colombians, generating the world’s second largest population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) after Syria.
Colombia faces persistent humanitarian needs resulting from the impact of armed conflict and violence, combined with natural disasters in certain areas. While armed conflict continues between the government and the guerrilla groups (FARC-EP and ELN), other sources of violence such as post-demobilization armed groups (PDAGs) , pose major humanitarian and protection challenges.
In Colombia there are registers listing some 78,000 missing persons. But we'll never know how many there really are. Many are buried in unmarked graves (bearing the letters 'NN') in hundreds of Colombia's cemeteries. Others didn't even get a proper grave and were buried with other unidentified bodies.
Bogota, Colombia | AFP | Saturday 1/30/2016 - 19:43 GMT
by Roser TOLL
Colombia announced Saturday that more than 2,000 pregnant women have been infected with Zika, amid growing concern about the spread of the virus suspected of causing irreversible brain damage in newborns.
The National Health Institute reported that Colombia now has 20,297 cases of Zika infection, including 2,116 in expectant mothers.
General describes local peace talks as “unique opportunity” to reverse decades of rural decline.
29 January 2016, Bogota - FAO will work with Colombia in building a durable peace and strengthening rural development in the country’s post-conflict stage, Director-General José Graziano da Silva said during a high-level visit to the Latin American nation.