The representative to Colombia for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Dec. 8 reiterated his call for a peaceful solution to the country’s ongoing armed conflict. Christian Salazar made his remarks at a press conference following an announcement by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) stating plans to move forward with the unilateral release of hostages currently being held by the rebels. Last month, a military raid led to the deaths of four FARC hostages, apparently killed by their captors during the fighting. But Salazar stated he believed FARC’s plan to release other hostages signaled a new phase of hostage liberation that might help lead both sides to a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict. However Salazar recognized at the press conference that at this point even talking about the armed conflict in Colombia was “extremely sensitive.” To that end Salazar also praised the actions of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who has maintained an open line of dialogue between FARC and the Colombian government, which Salazar held as important to preventing a longterm “spiral of violence” in the country. The rebels announced their plans for the upcoming hostage release in a missive to former Colombian Senator Piedad Córdoba earlier this month.
From Jurist, Dec. 8. Used with permission.
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