Delegates of the Colombian government and rebel group FARC on Sunday thanked a delegation of conflict victims for attending ongoing peace talks on Saturday.
The rebel and government delegates in Cuba said they appreciated the victims for “sharing their testimonies, opinions and proposals with us, which were expressed with great courage and candor.”
According to the delegations, the first group of 12 of a total of 60 victims to take part in the Havana Peace Talks, are not only a “key input,” … “but they have also shown us again, in the most tangible way possible, why we are working to end the conflict; to build a stable and lasting peace and reconciliation.”
The joint press release further states that the Saturday’s meeting “took place in an atmosphere of solemnity, respect, and above all, a lot of attention for each victim’s testimony and proposals.”
|“We received their expressions of pain and their demands as an ethical and moral imperative to successfully conclude these talks.”|
“We believe that this was a transcendent moment of the process. From the beginning, we have said that the victims stand in the center of the Agreement. This first meeting in Havana, in a more direct way, gives substance to this purpose. We received their expressions of pain and their demands as an ethical and moral imperative to successfully conclude these talks,” said the FARC and government delegates.
Ahead of the meetings between victims and victimizers, the United Nations, Colombia’s National University and the Catholic Church organized a series of regional forums aimed at gathering comments and proposals from victims.
Peace talks agenda
How to attend victims in their attempt to end 50 years of armed conflict is the fourth of six points. Previously, the delegations agreed on rural reform, political participation and the FARC abandoning drug trafficking.
The delegations still have to agree on a ceasefire and the formal end of the conflict once there is agreement with the victims.
According to official statistics, the conflict has left more than 6 million victims, 220 thousand of which were killed.
The government and the FARC have been negotiating peace since late 2012 and have already agreed on rural reforms,drug trafficking and political participation.
Once the negotiating teams found agreement on the victims of the conflict, the logistical end to the ongoing violence will be discussed.
JOINT COMMUNIQUE #41 (Colombian government / FARC-EP)