UN chief emphasizes need for economic opportunities for Colombia ex-rebels

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has emphasized the importance of efforts to enhance economic opportunities for former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group, Reuters reported.

"We must redouble efforts to guarantee the sustainability of these projects, with financial and technical support, and land and housing," Guterres said on Tuesday while visiting a reintegration camp located in Antioquia province. 

The FARC signed a peace deal with Colombia’s government in 2016 that led to the demobilization of 13,000 members, including 7,000 combatants, according to Reuters.


The initial agreement also ended the FARC’s role in Colombia’s longest-running internal conflict, which has left more than 260,000 people dead and millions displaced, the news agency reported.

Guterres also said that more state help is needed to ensure the survival of projects for ex-rebels, Reuters reported. 

His comments come as some former FARC commanders have argued that the peace agreement has not been fulfilled, returning to their use of arms. 

Two sources told the news agency that the Biden administration plans to remove the FARC from its list of terrorist organizations. 

Removing the FARC’s terrorist designation will help recognize and show support for the peace agreement, Reuters noted. 

According to advocacy group Indepaz, 300 ex-FARC members have been killed since the initial agreement.