Agreement on release of five Colombians

Norway and Cuba have announced that the Colombian Government and the Farc–EP have agreed on terms for the release of five people that are being held by Farc. One of them is General Ruben Dario Alzate.

Norway and Cuba announced yesterday that the Colombian Government and the Farc–EP have agreed on terms for the release of five people that are being held by Farc. One of them is General Ruben Dario Alzate. 

‘We are very pleased that the parties have reached agreement. It is important that the people who are being held are now released as quickly as possible,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.                                                                                     

The case has attracted widespread attention in Colombia, not least because this is the first time a general has been seized by Farc. Four of the five who are to be released are from the Colombian armed forces; the fifth person is a lawyer. In response to the incident, President Santos suspended peace talks with Farc until those being held have been released. 

Norway and Cuba, as facilitators in the Colombian peace process, have helped the parties reach agreement on the terms for release. The International Committee of the Red Cross has also taken part in the behind-the-scenes efforts to achieve the release of those being held. 

‘I urge the parties to resume peace talks as soon as possible,’ said Foreign Minister Brende. 

The armed conflict in Colombia has lasted for more than 50 years and has had severe humanitarian consequences and caused great suffering. Several hundred thousand people have been killed, and more than five million people have been internally displaced.