The European Union on Thursday expressed its satisfaction at the recent release of six hostages by the FARC, but demanded that all individuals held captive by armed groups must be released “immediately.”
“The High Representative has received the news on the new hostage releases by the FARC. The unilateral release of a number of persons held, some for several years, by the FARC constitute a step towards compliance with international humanitarian law. However, the kidnapping, on 10 February of two workers in the department of Cauca is in clear contradiction with the humanitarian spirit that, according to the FARC, motivates this measure, and the circumstances surrounding the release of the last two hostages give rise to some serious questions. The E.U. calls upon the FARC and other Colombian illegal armed groups to release all hostages that remain in their power immediately,” the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton said in a statement.
“The High Representative reiterates the support of and the solidarity of the E.U. with the Colombian people and its government in their fight against terrorism, an end to all violence and for a sustainable peace in the country,” she continued.
On Wednesday, the FARC released the last two of six hostages who were surrendered to authorities over the past week. The Marxist rebel group is holding 13 more members of the security forces hostages for political reasons and is suspected of kidnapping dozens of Colombians each year for extortion purposes.