Colombia, FARC ask UN to oversee peace process

Colombia, FARC ask UN to oversee peace process to end decades of conflict that killed hundreds of thousands people

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Colombia's lead government negotiator Humberto de la Calle, Norway's representative in the talks Salvesen, Cuban mediator Benitez and FARC negotiators Marquez and Catatumbo take part in a joint declaration in Havana

Colombian government and leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels on Tuesday announced that they asked the UN to oversee the peace deal with which they aim to end decades of conflict.

United Nations Security Council is expected to help monitor and verify a rebel disarmament, settle any disputes and make recommendations.

"We have decided to request the Security Council of the UN to establish as of now such a political mission with unarmed observers for a period of 12 months," the two sides said in a joint statement read in Havana.

Both the rebel group and the government are expecting to sign a final accord by March 23, 2016.

They asked UN representatives from Latin American and Caribbean countries to oversee the process.

"We think this is good news today, transcendental news," said Humberto de la Calle, the government's chief negotiator.

"Peace in Colombia is possible," rebel negotiator Ivan Marquez said.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez reached a breakthrough towards peace in Sept. 23 setting a six month deadline to reach a final agreement.

Both sides have reached preliminary accords on four broad points on the agenda, which include the political participation of the rebels, land rights, drug trafficking, and transitional justice.

Almost 220,000 people have died since FARC began its armed struggle in 1964.

TRTWorld and agencies