- Title: COLOMBIA-PEACE/UN FARC ceasefires caused decrease in Colombian violence: UN
- Date: 19th August 2015
- Summary: HAVANA, CUBA (FILE) (REUTERS TV) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF FARC AND GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATORS ENTERING PEACE TALKS
- Embargoed: 3rd September 2015 13:00
- Location: Cuba
- Country: Cuba
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA2SOR7KESWD0WGUBVT0YV9FC0U
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDIT CONTAINS VIDEO THAT WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
The unilateral ceasefire declared by the FARC during the peace negotiations with the government of Colombia caused a reduction in violence associated with the armed conflict to its lowest level in 30 years, an official of the United Nations said on Wednesday (August 19).
Peace talks in Cuba between the government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia leftists began in late 2012 amid the confrontation, during which the rebels have declared six unilateral ceasefires.
Fabrizio Hochschild, U.N. resident and humanitarian co-ordinator In Colombia, also said massive displacement had decreased by 27 percent.
"Since November of 2012, when the peace negotiations began, massive displacement decreased 27 percent compared to the 32 months prior to the negotiations. In this time period, the number of military acts also decreased, as did the attacks on the civilian population and the number of victims of antipersonnel mine and ammunition and kidnapping," said Hochschild.
The U.N. representatives also said there had also been a decline in displacement, attacks on civilians, victims of mine explosions and kidnapping.
"We can definitely say that yes, truces had an impact at the humanitarian level. As various analysts have said, during the unilateral ceasefires particularly the one from December 20, 2014 to May 22, 2015, there were the lowest recorded levels of violence in the past few years; there are even some who say in the past 30 years," Gerard Gomez, head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for the Latin American and Caribbean Region (OCHA) said during a news conference in Bogota.
Currently, the FARC - which has about 8,000 combatants - maintains a unilateral ceasefire, while Santos ordered a halt again in the shelling of rebel camps in the mountains and jungles of the country.
Both sides agreed last month to reduce the intensity of confrontation and speed up the negotiation through peace talks aimed at ending an armed conflict of over half a century that has left 220,000 dead and holds back the fourth largest economy in Latin America.
Despite the ups and downs and the scepticism of many Colombians, the talks in Havana have made more progress than all previous efforts to end the continent's oldest armed conflict.
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