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  • A FARC rebel waves a peace flag during the final act of abandonment of arms in Mesetas, Colombia.

    A FARC rebel waves a peace flag during the final act of abandonment of arms in Mesetas, Colombia. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 July 2018

The EU Ambassador in Colombia Patricia Llombart reiterated the bloc's support to "overcome the pending challenges," facing the peace process.

Representatives of the international community reaffirmed their support for the peace process in Colombia during a meeting in the country's capital, Bogota. Colombia's vice-president, Oscar Naranjo, assessed the progress in the implementation of the peace agreement signed with the former guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016.

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He called on the international community to continue to "protect the asset of peace and what this transcendental achievement means."

Before his speech, Patricia Llombart, the ambassador of the European Union, or EU, in Colombia, reiterated the bloc's support to "overcome the pending challenges" and "consolidate the achievements."

"Thank you for this valuable gift that the Government has given to its citizens and the next generation, but also to the international community, a gift that we welcome with great pleasure, with a lot of love and with a lot of enthusiasm to take care of it and continue to help Colombia, "she said.

The EU has been one of the international bodies that have provided the most support to the peace process. Also, the European Parliament reiterated its support to Colombia with a financial package amounting to 150 million euros (approximately US$174.6 million dollars), in January.

The meeting was also attended by Martin Santiago, the resident representative of the United Nations Development Program, or UNDP. He affirmed that the organization, like the EU, will continue working with the government of the newly-elected president, Ivan Duque, who will be officially sworn in as head of state on Aug. 7.

Adding to the voices of support was Angel Martin Peccis, director of the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science, and Culture. He assured that his organization would continue to support programs incorporated into the peace process such as the Development with a Territorial Approach, or PDET.

Commitments to support the ongoing peace process comes amid numerous assassinations and death threats against human rights defenders and social activists. Colombia's inspector general, Fernando Carrillo, has accused elements of the country's police and military of collaborating with criminal organizations to commit these crimes said, “state agents are co-opted by criminal organizations that are eliminating social leaders.”

Carrillo's office is one of the state departments tasked with investigating the murders of at least 300 social leaders since 2016.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, warned Thursday, of the displacement of 744 people from Afro-descendant communities in the department of Nariño, bordering Ecuador, due to clashes between the criminal organization People of the Common and the Oliver Sinisterra Front.

"The displaced people have reached the urban centers of the municipalities of Olaya Herrera and Roberto Payan, and are housed in the homes of family and friends and in shelters," OCHA said in a statement.


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