A ruling by Colombia’s State Council to not allow regular soldiers in
armed combat diminishes the number of troops active in warfare by almost
100,000. The decision is “fatal” for the country’s war against illegal
armed groups, authorities say.
The high tribunal ruled Thursday that 76.2% of the army’s men are not allowed to be involved in combat. The same goes for 40% of navy personnel.
A soldier had asked the State Council for a ruling, saying that he would be sent to war without the preparation required to engage in warfare. The State Council agreed with the soldier and ruled only professionally trained troops may be sent to war.
The decision means that the army must withdraw 78,000 men who are currently fighting illegal armed groups and the Navy will be forced to withdraw 14,000 men.
According to Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, this ruling is “fatal” for the country’s armed forces.
“The army and the Navy will basically be left without combat capacity. This sentence has serious repercussions for our Armed Forces who fight narcoterrorism daily,” the Minister said.