Colombia is closer to peace now that the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) have signed an agreement for a bilateral and definitive ceasefire and end to hostilities.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that the accords, which also set out terms for the guerrillas to lay down arms and contain security guarantees for their reintegration into society, do not establish definite peace but are the prelude to it.
At the agreement signing ceremony in Havana, the president stated that there are many issues to be resolved before the signing of a Final Agreement in Colombia.
However, he stressed, that both the government and the FARC-EP agree on the need to resolve them promptly and to sign a definitive peace accord to put an end to more than 50 years of suffering caused by the armed conflict.
Santos said that the end of the conflict is the starting point for Colombians, united in diversity, to have a country with opportunities for everyone.
In this sense, the agreement between the executive and Colombia’s largest guerrilla movement corroborates their commitment to contribute to a new culture that bans the use of arms in the exercise of politics.
Likewise, it paves the road to a definitive end to offensive actions between state force and the FARCEP and prepares institutions and the country for the reincorporation of guerrillas into civilian life.
These achievements mean that peace in Colombia is no longer a dream but an attainable goal and the president went on to say “we sense that the war is coming to an end, making it is possible, so, we are going to build it.”
Meanwhile, the FARC-EP leader, Timoleón Jiménez, expressed the desire for an end to war in the country. “The Colombian people will turn their backs on those who continue taking the country to a holocaust,” he said before the presidents and other international dignitaries who witnessed the official signing of the accords.
Cuban President Raúl Castro stated that as guarantor and host of the peace talks that began in November 2012, Cuba will continue to offer all necessary facilities and modestly, discreetly and with profound respect for all positions will do whatever possible to support the process.
Peace will not only be a victory for Colombia but for all America, he said.
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States has already reached a milestone in its young history: the proclamation of the region as a zone of peace, an event that also took place in Havana in 2014.
The Cuban president stressed that the end of the conflict “will be a sign of our people’s committed opposition to the use of violence and armed force and in favor of understanding.”
Raul Castro added that the attainment of peace will cast a ray of hope for millions of people in the planet who continue to fear for their survival “in a world of war and violence,” He stated that peace is not a utopia, but the legitimate right of every human being, of every country, a fundamental condition for everyone’s enjoyment.
As a result of the peace process, the end of a conflict that has left more than 200,000 people dead in Colombia seems closer now than ever before.Share on FB Share on TT