The United Nations acknowledged Colombia’s peace process is facing “major challenges” and urged the government and FARC rebels to “act swiftly,” and demobilize and disarm the guerrillas within the set time frame.
With the FARC indicating earlier this week that they will not demobilize until an amnesty law defining guerrillas’ legal status is in place, there are worries surrounding both parties’ ability to comply with the peace agreements they signed last month.
In a press release, the UN recognized the “legal constraints” set off by the rejection of the October 2 referendum on an initial peace deal, “impacting the administrative, technical and logistical preparations for the implementation.”
The revised deal is currently awaiting a Monday ruling from the Constitutional Court on the validity of the congressional approval of the agreement and the priority laws that came with it.
Having signed the agreement, the FARC is obligated to stick to the timeline of their demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) process.
They would be in violation of the peace process if by December 31, their troops are not inside the DDR camps.
In addition to the legal worries, the FARC reported earlier this week that the government had not adequately prepared the DDR camps.
The UN specifically stressed this point, calling for “the activation of the Zones and Points” where the FARC supposed to have begun demobilizing and disarming since Tuesday.
The ongoing uncertainty further increases the risk of FARC guerrillas losing faith in the process, and joining other groups or forming groups on their own.
On Wednesday for instance, the mayor of Ituango, Antioquia, said that four FARC guerrillas had deserted from their pre-grouping area.
The UN currently has 208 international observers deployed in Colombia, and is expected to reach 400 in January, local media reported.