After Duque claimed that “this government is committed to move forward with the process of demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of people who have been in that organization,” UN mission chief Jean Arnault, who is monitoring the peace process, looked Duque in the eyes and told him “we haven’t seen each other since your inauguration on August 7.”
“It was time we did a kind of first assessment, a first discussion about the seven weeks that have passed,” Arnault told Duque and the press.
Arnault praised the president for his “decision made together with the FARC to turn to the Security Council and the Secretary General of the United Nations to request the extension of our mission” to monitor the government and the FARC’s compliance with the peace deal that has been opposed by Duque and his hard-right Democratic Center party for years.
In his defense, Duque said he “celebrated that Mr. Arnault is aware of the fragility of the resources for many of these commitments we assumed on August 7 and also of the institutional difficulties that the design [of the peace deal] has had for the success of this process” in an apparent jab to his predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos, and the international community.
This government is committed to move forward with the process of demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of people who have been in that organization, obviously respecting the principles of truth, justice, reparation and no-repetition. This compromise remains on our behalf, it’s our government policy. Similarly, we are committed to the arrival of investment and state presence to the regions that have been devastated by violence.
President Ivan Duque
Arnault responded that demobilized guerrillas needed “judicial certainty” for the successful reincorporation of the 14,000 people who demobilized with the FARC.
Particularly after Duque took office, reports of former FARC guerrillas abandoning the peace process and rearming have mushroomed, allegedly because of fear that the government seeks to prosecute and possibly extradite former rebels and FARC leaders, against the agreement signed by Duque’s predecessor.
The peace process seeks to contribute to an end of decades of armed conflict and political violence that has victimized 8.5 million Colombians, or 17% of the country’s population and continues to generate violence, particularly against community leaders.