With Thousands of FARC Weapons Already Registered, Colombia Peace Process Must Speed up: Jean Arnault UN Special Envoy (E)
Despite ongoing delays and inconsistencies in the implementation of Colombia’s recent peace deal with the FARC, Jean Arnault, the head of the UN Mission in Colombia, says that all parties involved are determined to continue making progress in order to meet the May 29 disarmament deadline.
“That [registration] process took a few days longer than originally anticipated due to weather conditions,” he said. “But we have now registered 85% of all weapons in the camps and we anticipate that by tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, we will arrive at a figure of approximately 8,000 weapons registered.”
But the UN Mission in Colombia also has a secondary role—overseeing the security of former conflict areas and their inhabitants. Failing to meet the May 29 deadline for disarmament could stall the UN’s mission to monitor the security of these regions.
This has been a major concern for some time. In November, Todd Howland, the Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia, told Reuters: “When there are delays with the implementation of the accord, this means human rights violations.” Most recently, Amnesty International released a statement earlier in March saying that Colombia’s armed conflict is “alive as ever” in response to an uptick in violence against social leaders around the country.
Jean Arnault understands: “Colombia faces a rather special situation in relation to the current situation in conflict zones. This is a big reason why we stress the need to accelerate the implementation process.”