Colombia

Colombia: Tripartite Mechanism takes stock of progress and challenges in peace accord implementation

Bogotá - Following the ratification of the Peace Agreement and the designation of 1 December, 2016 as the "D-Day" — marking the beginning of the implementation schedule for the Agreement on Bilateral Ceasefire Cessation of Hostilities — the Government, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) and the UN Mission in Colombia requested their tripartite Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM) to take stock of what has been accomplished and the remaining challenges to date.

In this context, the MVM makes the following observations:

  1. After 27 technical visits and consultations with local authorities and communities, the 27 Zones and Points—where the separation of forces are to take place—are identified and delimited to continue the fulfillment of the commitments reached in the Final Agreement.

  2. The National Government and the FARC-EP have shared with the UN Mission in Colombia—the international component of the MVM—the disposition of their forces in the field in order to facilitate the observation and coordination of their movements.

  3. Prior to D + 5 and in compliance with the Bilateral Ceasefire and Cessation of Hostilities Protocol of 13 October, FARC-EP structures began to move towards Zones and Points.

  4. The deployment of the tripartite Mechanism and the integration of its three components has been carried out at the National Headquarters of the MVM and at six of its eight Regional Headquarters.

  5. The training of all its members, both Government, FARC-EP and the UN Mission, has been completed.

  6. The Mechanism has been able to carry out verifications of relevant incidents, which, in some cases, violated the Ceasefire and Cessation of Hostilities. On these in particular, the MVM issued recommendations to the parties to improve procedures and thus ensure the Bilateral Ceasefire and Cessation of Hostilities.

Moreover, the MVM acknowledges that the outcome of the 2 October plebiscite incurred legal constraints for both the Government and the UN Mission in Colombia, impacting the administrative, technical and logistical preparations for the implementation of the Agreement on Bilateral Ceasefire and Cessation of Hostilities and Laying Down of Arms.

As a result, and considering the logistical difficulties that arise from the number of Zones and Points, as well as their geographical location, the MVM notes major challenges in several areas, which must be urgently addressed:

  1. First, the activation FARC-EP camps in the Zones and Points where the separation of forces will take place.

  2. Logistical efforts to improve attention to the needs of pre-grouped FARC-EP members, in accordance with the 13 October Protocol.

  3. The deployment of the Mechanism in the Regional Headquarters of Medellín and Quibdó, and the 27 Local Headquarters, located in the Zones and Points where the separation of forces will take place. This process begins this week, following the establishment of temporary camps, but will require continuous care to be completed for D + 30.

  4. MVM also recognizes the need to improve its operation, including its movements to enhance monitoring and verification, and strengthen the flow of internal and inter-party information.

Based on these observations, the MVM underscores the need to act swiftly and to maintain the availability of resources in the above-mentioned areas, in particular regarding the activation of the Zones and Points where the separation of forces will take place, to adequately comply with the timetable of the Agreement on Bilateral Ceasfire and Cessation of Hostilities and Laying Down of Arms.