Colombia’s reintegration of rebels a challenging task, UNSC told

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The ongoing peace process in Colombia finds the task of re-integrating 14,000 former rebel combatants as challenging, the top United Nations official in the South American country has told the Security Council.

“While the building blocks of stabilization are being put in place, we cannot lose sight of the challenges of reintegration,” said Jean Arnault, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative.

He said that the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, which started its operations in September last year to verify the commitments on reintegrating former rebel members into society continues “to view with concern the socioeconomic reintegration of the 14,000 former combatants,”

Most of the former militants are currently in prison and are extremely frustrated with the reintegration process.

He also informed that UNSC that despite a ceasefire between the government and another rebel fraction National Liberation Army (ELN), the group recently violated the agreement.

“Unfortunately, it was just announced that attacks against pipelines by the ELN have just resumed. We will follow closely developments and keep the Council informed,” Arnault said.

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