Colombia peace talks in 'decisive phase'

2014-08-22 22:50:52 | Al Muslim News
Colombia peace talks in 'decisive phase'

 

Talks to end Colombia's five-decade conflict have entered what the government called a "decisive phase" as army officers and FARC rebels began work on the terms of an eventual ceasefire. The creation of the "subcommission" to propose the framework for an eventual ceasefire and disarmament marks the first time active combatants from both sides have come together around the same table during the nearly two-year-old peace negotiations. "We've entered a decisive moment in the process. There's a real possibility of ending the conflict," said the government's chief negotiator, Humberto de la Calle. The panel's launch came on the heels of two other key developments at the talks in Havana, the launch of a "historical commission" tasked with tracing the origins and impact of the conflict, and the start of testimony from victims, intended to help reach a deal on reparations. "This week, we have put in march three enormously important mechanisms that are going to strengthen and guide the (government and rebel) delegations' work in this decisive phase," de la Calle said. "In the past few days, the process has taken on a new dynamic... We are in an advanced phase of the conversations." He said the new subcommission, headed on the government's side by the army's top general, Javier Florez, would not negotiate the actual ceasefire but rather "prepare possible future mechanisms" for a ceasefire to pass on to the two delegations. Sticking points The FARC's chief negotiator, Ivan Marquez, for his part said the creation of the subcommission meant that for the first time "active members of both sides' armed forces... are sitting down as equals to begin discussions." But a FARC member speaking on condition of anonymity said the rebel group, which has not publicly named its representatives on the panel, was frustrated because "the government can bring the people it wants and we can't." Since the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) was founded in the 1960s, the Colombian conflict has killed 220,000 people and caused more than five million to flee their homes. Talks to end the conflict have so far produced deals on three points: land reform, political participation for the rebels and curbing the drug trafficking that has fueled the fighting. The unsettled issues are reparations, disarmament and the mechanism by which the final peace agreement will be adopted..

Tags: #

Latest News

What to Next

Russian foreign minister says US ready to continue talks

MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday he believed his US colleagues were ready to continue dialogue with Moscow on complex iss... More

BJP keen to amend law on permanent residence in held Kashmir

NEW DELHI: Away from the attention that Article 370 attracts, some members and supporters of the Bha­ratiya Janata Party (BJP) are steadily pushin... More

North Korea defiant after new sanctions, rejects talks

SEOUL (AFP):North Korea on Monday angrily insisted tough new United Nations sanctions would not stop it from developing its nuclear arsenal, and warne... More

Does Trump worry you? US Muslims say yes : Survey

Survey finds Muslims feel out of place in society, displeased with their president, and are targets of discrimination. The early days of Donald Tru... More

DEATH TO ISIS:Thousands flood streets in furious protest to condemn terror group

Thousands of protesters chanted slogans against the militant Islamic State group Wednesday as they carried the coffins of victims of an attack targeti... More

China says restrained in face of India

BEIJING: China accused India on Wednesday of “concocting” excuses over the illegal entry of the South Asian nation’s military into C... More

COAS, Afghan envoy discuss border issues

ISLAMABAD: Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa met Afghanistan’s ambassador Dr Omar Zakhilwal on Wednesday for continuing discussions on normalisation of... More

Apple removes VPN services from Chinese app store

BEIJING: Apple has removed software allowing internet users to skirt China’s “Great Firewall” from its app store in the country, the... More

IS claims attack on Iraq embassy in Kabul

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Iraqi embassy in Kabul on Monday and militants breached the compound in a complex hours-long attack claim... More

Saudi-led bloc opens emergency routes to Qatari planes

DUBAI: Four Arab states that have cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar said on Monday that they have opened up air routes that Qatari planes c... More

83