Justice for Colombia’s victims

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In Havana today the Colombian Government and FARC-EP announced that they have reached an agreement on the rights of the victims. ‘Today’s agreement is historic. It shows that the parties to the conflict take responsibility for ensuring the victims’ rights to truth, reparations and guarantees against non-repetition. This is a recognition of the tremendous suffering the armed conflict has inflicted on the civilians of Colombia,’ said Foreign Minister Børge Brende.

Since autumn 2014, the parties have been engaged in difficult talks on this issue. A number of victims of the conflict have met the parties in Havana. In June this year, the parties agreed to establish a truth commission, which will come into operation once the final peace accord has been signed. In September, agreement was reached on establishing a special tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the most serious crimes in the course of the conflict, which has lasted for more than 50 years.

‘The agreement on victims’ rights is an important step towards reconciliation for the more than 6 million victims of the conflict in Colombia. Due to de-escalation of the conflict in recent months, the humanitarian situation is now better than it has been for many years,’ said Mr Brende.

The Colombian peace process was formally launched in Oslo in October 2012. Norway and Cuba are acting as facilitators. With the agreement on the rights of the victims, the parties have now reached agreement on four out of six points on the agenda. The issues that remain to be dealt with are achieving a ceasefire, disarmament, security guarantees for FARC guerrillas and the implementation of a final peace agreement.