UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council on Monday approved sending a political mission to Colombia to help supervise a definitive cease-fire negotiated between Bogota and the Revolution Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrillas.
In a unanimous decision, the 15 Council members adopted a resolution authorizing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to “immediately” begin preparations to launch the operation, which will have an initial mandate of 12 months.
Ban will have to present the details of the mission to the top UN decision-making entity in the 30 days following the signing of a peace accord between Bogota and the FARC.
The Council decided that the mission will be headed by Ban’s special representative and comprised of “unarmed international observers.”
The UN inspectors will comprise the international component of the tripartite mechanism to monitor and verify the cease-fire, in which representatives of the Colombian government and the rebels will also participate.
As agreed by the parties, it is expected that the experts will come from countries within the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
The resolution requires Ban to present reports on the mission every 90 days after launch and says that extending the mission can be extended at the joint request of the Colombian government and the FARC.
The British-drafted text, which was co-sponsored by all Security Council members, supports the measures agreed to by the parties to the peace talks.
Since 2012, the FARC and Bogota – meeting in Havana – have been seeking to end their 51-year conflict that has left nearly a quarter of a million victims.