Protecting civilians in armed conflict
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Colombia: peace is at hand, and new meeting between Geneva Call and the FARC-EP

5th October 2015 | Colombia - Child protection - Gender issues - Landmine ban

On 23 September 2015, the leader of the FARC-EP, Timoleón Jimenez, and the Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, made a historic announcement in Cuba: a final peace agreement would be signed by 23 March 2016, at the latest.

This announcement was made possible by the conclusion of an agreement on transitional justice, one of the most sensitive topics of the peace talks. Geneva Call welcomes this crucial step forward in the negotiation process—a step that will make peace in a near future more tangible.

In early September 2015, Geneva Call held several meetings with the FARC-EP delegation in Cuba. These discussed the implementation of the March 2015 humanitarian demining agreement, as well as subjects related to the protection of children.

Furthermore, Geneva Call organized another meeting between the FARC-EP and a network of female former combatants from different guerrilla groups, following-up on a first meeting in May 2015. In this framework, current and former women fighters discussed how to strengthen the participation of women in the peace process.

Geneva Call has been working in Colombia since 2003, witnessing the suffering this armed conflict has caused, particularly to the civilian population. Along with other humanitarian and human rights actors, it has promoted the implementation of concrete measures to ensure the FARC-EP’s respect for humanitarian norms, particularly on humanitarian demining (an agreement was signed with the government in March 2015) and on child protection (The FARC-EP raised its recruitment age in March 2015)

Geneva Call hopes that the peace process will continue to progress positively and that a similar process will soon start with the ELN, all of which will benefit Colombia’s civilian population.