United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Colombia on Friday to urgently come to an agreement on who will cover which costs of a pending demobilization of the FARC, the country’s largest rebel group.
“Resolving this issue is urgently necessary for the punctual and effective deployment of the verification and monitoring mission mechanism” that is supposed to oversee the pending mass demobilization, said the secretary general.
Moon had been given details on the demobilization areas by Colombia’s Peace Commissioner Sergio Jaramillo, who had traveled to New York City to inform the UN on dozens of sites where the international body vowed to supervise the demobilization and disarmament of Colombia’s largest and oldest rebel group.
The ongoing disagreement on how the demobilization will be paid for, and by who, is not the only impediment of the FARC’s demobilization.
According to a commission of experts that have visited the sites where the FARC should be demobilizing, some of the proposed camps lack road infrastructure, basic services like drinking water and means of communication.
According to the report now lying with the security council, this lack of infrastructure is the biggest challenge for international observers to safely monitor and verify the guerrillas’ demobilization and disarmament.
Another issue that could complicate the FARC’s demobilization is “La Niña,” a recurring weather phenomenon that brings heavy rains and has already begun causing flooding in some of the sites.
La Niña is expected to bring more and heavier rains in the planned six-month period demobilizing FARC guerrillas could spend in the camps.
After this period, the rebels should either be taking part in reintegration programs or appearing before court if they are suspected of war crimes.
During the demobilization and disarmament period, the United Nations will be responsible for the order in these camps and the recipient of the FARC’s weaponry.
Some 450 foreign observers, mainly from Latin America, are set to monitor the FARC’s demobilization and verify possible infractions of a pending peace deal that seeks to end more than 52 years of violence between the guerrillas and the state.