UN and Colombian military chief clash over guerrilla attacks

U.N. delegate Christian Salazar has rejected criticism from Colombia’s Military Chief Edgar Cely, who said that Salazar and the U.N. are “silent” and “never” condemn guerrilla terrorist attacks.

Admiral Edgar Cely made the remarks Tuesday, after having confirmed the second “guerrilla” car bomb attempt within three days in the southwest department of Cauca. He lamented the fact that the U.N. apparently refuses to speak out in condemnation of guerrilla attacks.

“Why does Mr. Christian Salazar not come out to reject, as representative of the U.N.’s Human Rights Office, these types of terrorist actions against the innocent people of Popayan,” as well as other regions of the country, Cely questioned.

“One would like there to be a firm pronouncement immediately because it is an action of a terrorist group against the Colombian people,” he added, Caracol Radio reported Tuesday.

Christian Salazar, the Colombian representative for the U.N.’s refugee agency (UNHCR), refuted the notion that the U.N. has remained silent over guerrilla attacks over the years, insisting that they regularly report on FARC or ELN incidents.

“We are always observing and reporting the deeds of the guerrillas and we announce with certain frequency about what we see,” stated Salazar, El Espectador reported.

The U.N. official further explained that “we express condemnations based on our observations and this means that we have to go to the places and verify the information,” something that “takes time” and therefore means “we can not come out quickly” to condemn the incidents.

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