Patience Will Be Rewarded: ‘Colombia Peace Deal Security Gains May Take 10 Years’ Top Brass (E)
Consolidating security gains from Colombia’s recent peace deal with FARC guerrillas while battling remaining leftist rebels and drug trafficking gangs will take a decade, according to the head of the armed forces.
Nearly 7,000 rebels from the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are in the midst of a demobilization process, but dissidents from the group and fighters from the National Liberation Army (ELN) remain top targets for the military, General Juan Pablo Rodriguez told Reuters.
The Andean country and the FARC signed a peace deal late last year after more than 52 years of war and recently extended the deadline for rebels to hand over weapons. The country’s conflict has killed more than 220,000 people.
“Stabilization is very complicated, very difficult. Colombians have to understand it will take time.” Rodriguez said. “I would say at a minimum in ten years we will be able to see how we’ve done and see more concrete results.” Reuters