FARC rebels urged to disarm by Colombian president

Posted on | september 27, 2011 | No Comments

flag and logo of the FARC-

One soldier was killed and two more were injured Sunday after simultaneous attacks from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in several towns of Colombia’s southwestern Cauca region. Police said that the soldier died in one of the first attacks in Suarez municipality, where FARC members launched explosive devices against an army vehicle.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Sunday renewed his call for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels to disband and disarm. “Here, where the FARC was born 47 years ago, I send them a message: Disband, lay down your arms, renounce violence and terrorism and we will be ready to give you an opportunity in civic life,” Santos said in the central town of Marquetalia, FARC’s birthplace.

Santos also said the FARC’s new practice of recruiting minors, a response to intensified government crackdown, is against international humanitarian law.

The president’s remarks came amid recent attacks of FARC guerrillas in several regions and increased clashes between government troops and the rebels.

Two government soldiers were killed Saturday in a clash with an elite FARC commando unit in the southern province of Caqueta. Two other soldiers were wounded Sunday after FARC members attacked a police station in Sardinata in the northeastern province of Norte de Santander.

The FARC, Colombia’s largest rebel group with a nationwide operation range, has been involved in decades-long anti-government armed struggle since its inception in 1964.

Last month, FARC attacked an oil field operated by a Canadian company near the Venezuelan border. According to a report, the FARC guerrillas dressed in police uniforms blew up a 400-barrel oil storage tank and destroyed an oil dipper belonging to the Canadian Alange Energy Corporation.

Last week, FARC — designated a terrorist group by the U.S. State and Treasury Departments — launched two other attacks in Caqueta in the southern part of the country, killing one person, wounding four others and setting six vehicles on fire.

Officials believe that FARC’s attacks were aimed to distract crackdown operations against them in areas near Venezuelan borders.

Recent attacks by the FARC terrorists indicate the rebel group is still a threat, U.S. ambassador in Bogota Michael Mckinley said.

Besides being a Marxist revolutionary group, FARC is a leading drug trafficking gang with ties to the Colombian drug cartels.

The attacks also signaled the FARC’s attempt to demonstrate strength as the rebel group believes they were the only way to react to Colombia’s counter-terrorism operations.

Ambassador McKinley stated that he was particularly concerned over the situation in the southern province of Cauca, where the FARC struck in Toribio, Corintio and Caldono over the weekend, leaving 6 dead, 70 others wounded and about 500 homes destroyed.

Colombian Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera said the attacks was a FARC strategy to disrupt the army’s manhunt for Alfonso Cano, the FARC’s top leader.

AUTHOR: Jim Kouri
URL: http://www.renewamerica.com/
E-MAIL: COPmagazine [at] aol.com


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