The UN assistant secretary general for Humanitarian Affairs called upon Colombia to carry on the peace process and provide more support to victims of the armed conflict.
Kyung-Wha Kang, UN assistant secretary for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, paid a four-day visit to Colombia during which she visited areas affected by the armed conflict where she talked to victims and indigenous communities from the southwest state of Cauca, local media reported Wednesday.
According to Kang, “the most disadvantaged communities are those who suffer most from the armed conflict, because their youngsters will end up participating in it in one way or another,” newspaper El Pais reported.
The UN assistant secretary general called for peace and more support to the communities affected by the country’s oldest conflict with the rebel groups. Colombia’s government and society should ‘make every effort to reach the end of the armed conflict and pave the way for reconciliation and a stable and lasting peace.” said Kang.
Kang also addressed the problems that Colombia’s main Pacific port city of Buenaventura faces as a result of the ongoing conflict between armed groups and referred to the city as the “challenge of the future,” Caracol Radio reported.
Buenaventura has become infamous for its extreme violence where there has been 14 cases of dismembered bodies being found. Along with the bodies, various “chop shops” have been discovered where the gruesome killings took place.
Of the approximately 6.3 million people in Latin America who have been forced to flee their homes due to war or violence, 5.7 million were Colombian. Colombia, still embroiled in a complicated 50-year armed conflict between leftist guerrillas, the state, and right-wing paramilitary groups, was one of the five countries that accounted for 78% of the world’s total living displacement victims as of 2013, according to an Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) report.
Peace talks between the Colombian government and the country’s largest rebel group FARC entered their fourth round on Wednesday with the issue of victims’ rights and reparations being at the center of negotiations.