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FARC Guerrillas Demobilise, Although Militias Remain in Field

The Government’s High Commissioner for Peace recently tweeted that 5,784 members of the FARC network had agreed to enter the Transitory Hamlet Zones for Normalisation, as well as detailing camps where members of the guerrilla faction will surrender their weapons under the scrutiny of the United Nations. However, it is estimated that the total number of those surrendering arms is only a small fraction of the overall rebel structure.

The insurgents first began heading toward the concentration zones and encampments on December 6, 2016 to meet the January 31, 2017 deadline. However, this deadline wasn’t met, meaning the deadline was extended.

The demobilisation of the FARC is part of the peace agreement that was signed by the Government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the insurgents, which was also signed by Colombia’s Congress on November 30, 2016.

Despite the demobilisation process, it is believed that over 60 percent of the FARC will still be active in the field. Although the militias were meant to be included in the process, it is estimated that between 2.000 and 7,000 remain in the field, with many units operating independently.

This shows that although steps are being taken to encourage demobilisation, the fact remains that many have not fully committed to the agreement, meaning that there could be more violent outbreaks between rival rebel factions. As such, visits to the area may not be as safe as first presumed. As such, any travel plans should include the use of Security Services in Columbia.

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