Colombia’s largest rebel group, the FARC, said Thursday it wants the government to commit to forming a post-conflict truth commission before discussing victim reparation in ongoing peace talks between the rebel group and the government.
The FARC, in their daily press briefing from the Cuban capital where peace talks are talking place, said that before the issue of victims can be discussed, there must be a truth commission established.
Chief negotiator, Ivan Marquez said that before discussing, “the fifth item on the agenda, the victims, we insist, as we did nine months ago, when insist the creation of historical truth commission to clarify the history of the conflict. By not starting with this step, it will be difficult to begin and give good direction to this debate.”
The government and the FARC have been negotiating since November 2012 in an effort to end the country’s decades long conflict. They are negotiating six points of which the two points of political participation and land reform have been agreed upon. They are currently discussing the third point of illicit drugs, in the 24th round of peace talks which restarted Thursday.
Before the peace talks started it was agreed upon that the separate points would be discussed in no particular order, and it is generally believed that the next point to be discussed will be the issue of victims of the conflict.
This means that the government and the FARC may have to come to an agreement on the additional point of a truth commission before coming to the table to discuss victims. Of course this is also dependent on when, or if, the two parties come to an agreement on the issue of illicit drugs.
The government negotiating team in March however stated that a truth commission would only be set up once a final peace agreement had been reached with the FARC.
- FARC-EP responde al Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos (FARC daily press release)