- Title: U.N. will continue to support Colombia peace process, Ban Ki-moon says
- Date: 3rd October 2016
- Summary: BAN LEAVING U.N. BUILDING
- Embargoed: 18th October 2016 16:53
- Keywords: Ban Ki-Moon Colombia peace referendum Syria
- Location: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- City: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Switzerland
- Topics: Government/Politics,United Nations
- Reuters ID: LVA00352GCDON
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday (October 3) the Organisation would continue to support the peace process in Colombia after the country voted "No" in a referendum to an agreement to end a 52-year war with Marxist rebels.
Any renegotiated peace accord now seems to depend on whether the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) could accept some tougher sanctions against them.
"No" voters, who narrowly won Sunday's vote, want assurances the rebels will hand in cash earned from drug smuggling, spend time in jail, and earn their political future at the ballot box rather than get guaranteed unelected seats in Congress.
"We would have hoped for a different result, but I am encouraged by the commitment expressed by (Colombian) President Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC-EP commander Timoleon Jimenez. To support them, I have urgently dispatched my special representative Mr. Jean Arnault to Havana, to continue his consultation. In Carthagena, I witnessed a profound desire of the Colombian people to end the violence. I count on them to press ahead until they achieve, secure a lasting peace," Ban told reporters during a visit to the U.N.'s Geneva headquarters.
The U.N. chief also expressed "outrage" at continued fighting in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad's forces, backed by support from Russia and Iran, have been battling for control of eastern Aleppo.
International attempts to establish ceasefires to allow in United Nations humanitarian aid have failed, although other aid groups have brought in limited supplies.
The relentless Russian and Syrian air campaign has badly damaged hospitals and water supplies.
"We are out of words to express our outrage at the carnage, especially in Aleppo. The brutality is unrelenting. I strongly condemn the deliberate campaign against the civilians, and the health workers and humanitarian personnel trying to save them. The parties have first obligation, countries with influence are also responsible for ending the attacks," Ban said.
The U.N. Security Council will begin negotiations on Monday on a draft resolution that urges Russia and the United States to ensure an immediate truce in Syria's Aleppo and to "put an end to all military flights over the city."
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