The head of the United States’ Southern Command on Tuesday called on Colombian rebel group the FARC to accept a peace agreement currently being negotiated with the government.
General John Kelly, head of the Southern Command ,said at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies that “if the FARC are smart, you will see that the time has come to reach an agreement.”
Kelly told the FARC: ” If you are listening, for once in 50 years, be smart: accept the agreement.”
General Kelly admitted that there were challenges still ahead for the peace process in Colombia, stating that once a country becomes embroiled in insurgency, the hardest thing is to put an end to it, but suggested that the talks in Havana were “very close to an agreement.”
The US General praised the Colombian government for its will to sit down and resolve its problems with the FARC, Colombia largest and oldlest rebel group, and said that Colombia’s political leaders “had done a tremendous job.”
The FARC and government representatives have been involved in peace talks since November 2012 in Havana, Cuba in a process which is reported to be showing positive results while already taking more than double the time President Juan Manuel Santos had promised when announcing the peace talks.
Both sides have already approved three of the six points of a complex agenda concerning rural reform, political participation, and illicit drugs, and are now discussing the fourth chapter, reparations for victims.
Both government officials and FARC representatives have expressed their will to put an end to a bloody civil conflict which has lasted more than 50 years.
- Jefe del Comando Sur de EE.UU. llama a las Farc a firmar acuerdos de paz (El Espectador)
- EEUU llama a las FARC a firmar acuerdos de paz en Colombia (El Nuevo Herald)