Tour - Colombia

The Colombian government and leftist Farc rebels have announced that they have reached a deal on a bilateral ceasefire that would be the last major step toward ending one of the world’s longest wars. “We have arrived with success at an agreement on the bilateral and definitive ceasefire and end to hostilities,” both sides said in a statement read to media in Havana. The accord will be signed on Thursday in Havana by President Juan Manuel Santos and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, rebel leader Rodrigo Londono, better known by his nom de guerre Timochenko. President Juan Manuel Santos will travel to Cuba on Thursday for the announcement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or Farc.

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, announced he would also be present to witness the signing of the deal. The presidents of Cuba, Venezuela and Chile, the three countries sponsoring the almost four-year-old peace talks in Havana, were also expected, and the Obama administration will send its special envoy to the talks, former diplomat Bernard Aronson. Colombia’s conflict has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions since 1964. But a 15-year, US-backed military offensive thinned the rebels’ ranks and forced its ageing leaders to the negotiating table in 2012.

Momentum had been building towards a breakthrough after Santos said this week that he hoped to end a half-century of bloodshed by 20 July. But Wednesday’s agreement went further than expected, removing all doubt that a final deal is around the corner. The ceasefire, which includes terms for the Farc’s demobilization and laying down of arms, will not begin until the final deal is signed. In addition to announcing a framework for the ceasefire, both sides said they agreed on how the Farc’s estimated 7,000 fighters will demobilise and hand over their weapons, as well as the security guarantees that will be provided to leftist activists after the conflict ends. Negotiators in January tasked the UN with monitoring adherence to an eventual ceasefire and resolving disputes emerging from the demobilisation.

With the latest advances, only a few minor pending items remain, the biggest being how the final deal will be ratified and given legal force so that it will not unravel should a more conservative government succeed Santos, who leaves office in 2018. Santos has vowed to put the deal to a referendum so Colombians can express their opinion. Opinion polls show the Farc are widely despised among conservative Colombians and frustration with the rebels has grown as the talks have dragged on, making reconciliation seem more distant. The peace talks have been bumpy and extended much longer than Santos or anyone else anticipated. But if a final deal is reached it would bring an end to Latin America’s last major insurgency, one accused of being a major supplier of cocaine to the US, though the much-smaller and more recalcitrant National Liberation Army has a toehold in some areas and could fill the void left by the Farc.

The Farc called a unilateral ceasefire nearly a year ago and the government responded by halting airstrikes on rebel camps. Negotiators missed a self-imposed deadline for signing the final accord in March. The group of about 8,000 combatants, down from 17,000 in its heyday, is considered a terrorist group by the United States and European Union. The Farc grew out of a 1960s peasant movement demanding land reform, and has been fighting successive governments ever since.


South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day, Colombia
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Colombia
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Colombia
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Colombia
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Colombia
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Colombia
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Colombia
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Colombia
South Africa, Day of Reconciliation, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Banki Moon,  Jacques Santer, Vincent Coyle, Reconciliation Day Tour, Colombia

Truth

Reconciliation

Justice

Creating trust and understanding between former enemies is a supremely difficult challenge. It is, however, an essential one to address in the process of building a lasting peace. Examining the painful past, acknowledging it and understanding it, and above all transcending it together, is the best way to guarantee that it does not – and cannot – happen again.

The ending of overt violence via a peace agreement or military victory does not mean the achievement of peace. Rather, the ending of violence or a so-called ‘post-conflict’ situation provides “a new set of opportunities that can be grasped or thrown away”. The international community can play a significant role in either nurturing or undermining this fragile peace building process. The United Nations, individual states and international nongovernment organisations (INGOs), have become increasingly involved in trying to rebuild peaceful societies in the aftermath of violent conflict. The dilemmas currently being faced across Europe are only the latest in a line of learning experiences in this complex task of post-conflict peace building. In Namibia and Cambodia, for the first time, the UN launched expanded peacekeeping operations which included not only military security but the coordination of elections. In East Timor, the UN mandate broadened even further to include the establishment of a functioning government and society through comprehensive development, law and order, security and governance objectives. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, extensive reconstruction activities have also been pursued, including an emphasis on establishing security, democracy and good governance. None of these things can become a reality without Truth, Justice and Awareness of Reconciliation.

Nonviolence is a philosophy, an existing theory and a practice, a lifestyle, and a means of social, political and economic struggle as old as history itself. From ancient times to the present times, people have renounced violence as a means of resolving disputes. They have opted instead for negotiation, mediation and reconciliation, thereby resisting violence with a militant and uncompromising nonviolence and respect for the integrity of all human beings, friends and enemies alike. Nonviolence provides us with tools, the positive means to oppose and stop wars and preparations for war, to resist violence, to struggle against racial, sexual and economic oppression and discrimination and to seek social justice and genuine democracy for people throughout the world. In a very real sense, nonviolence is the leaven for the bread that is a new society freed from oppression and bloodshed, a world in which persons can fulfill their individual potentials to the fullest.

Lets all come together to help reconciailation become more of a reality in all our lifes, through social and financial inclusion, in the everlasting pursuit of truth with justice for all. Everyday they are people that need help to reconcile with there past, with family and friends. Countries that need support with helping out there citizens during the war of the middle east and countries worldwide. These are all things that can be prevented and helped through reconciliation with truth and justice.