Colombia’s rebel group FARC, currently demobilizing after a peace deal that ended 52 years of war, on Friday admitted responsibility for the second breach of a ceasefire in place ahead of the agreement.
According to the UN-led monitoring system of the peace talks and the preceding ceasefire, the guerrillas breached the ceasefire on November 12 when a FARC unit in the southwestern Nariño province convened the population of a rural township for a meeting over recent combat with a rival group.
During both the ceasefire and the peace process, the guerrillas must avoid contact with the civilian population.
The heavily armed guerrillas, who are waiting across the country to be transported to isolated demobilization camps, earlier agreed to pre-group to prevent armed confrontations with either the military or illegal armed groups vying to take over the FARC’s vast territory.
The incident in Tumaco was the second breach of the ceasefire.
Responsibility for the first breach, which resulted in the killing of two FARC guerrillas later in November, was admitted by both parties little over a week ago.
To deal with ceasefire or peace deal breaches like these, the Colombian government, the UN and the FARC have set up a tripartite system that investigates alleged breaches.
If the majority of this three-person commission finds one of the parties breached the cease fire, its top priorities will be to determine how serious the violation and why it occurred, and then promote corrective measures.
In the case of the latest reported breach of the provisional ceasefire, the UN-led commission “gave specific recommendations to the FARC-EP to prevent new incidents.”
Both breaches of the ceasefire took place in a tense period that began when Colombia’s voters rejected an initial peace deal in an October 2 referendum and will end once the FARC is effectively disarmed, according to a revised peace deal.