Colombia on ‘final path’ to end 50-year conflict: President Santos
Sept.30, New York: President Juan Manuel Santos said that Colombia’s 50-year conflict is coming to an end, following the latest advances in the three-year peace process between the Government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels.
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly today he said that “Colombia is on the path to peace.”
Colombia had put an end to the longest armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere. “Using courage and responsibility,” Colombia he said, was bringing an end to more than 50 years of internal warfare. “Peace is a difficult path, but not an impossible one, and [we] are dedicated to it. Peace requires that every person inside opens their mind, heart and soul to reconciliation.
Providing details about the latest steps in the peace process, Santos said that less than a week ago, in Havana, Cuba, which had been hosting the talks between the sides, Colombia had reached an agreement on the most significant obstacle to peace in the country.
The accord laid down a system of transitional justice to ensure that there was no impunity for the perpetrators of the crimes. The system respected the principles of international and national law. “Our goal was maximum justice, which would allow us to move to peace,” he said.
The agreement set out an accountability system in the form of a national court for crimes. The system could serve as a precedent for other armed conflicts in the world. Significantly, a deadline for the signing of a final agreement by 23 March 2016 had been set. In addition, the FARC would begin to lay down its arms no later than 60 days after the signing. He could return to the Assembly next year representing a Government in peace.
The Oslo Times