HAVANA – Negotiators from the Colombian government and the FARC rebels said on Friday that they will seek to address the concerns of those who voted “no” in last weekend’s referendum on an accord to end the country’s 52-year-long armed conflict.
In a joint statement presented by government chief negotiator Humberto de la Calle and the FARC’s Ivan Marquez, the two delegations endorsed Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ pledge to maintain the current cease-fire.
The teams will also work on a protocol to avert clashes between the security forces and units of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, according the statement.
Last Sunday, 50.2 percent of the fewer than 38 percent of Colombian voters who cast ballots in the plebiscite on the pact signed Sept. 26 by Santos and FARC Commander Rodrigo Londońo Echeverri, a.k.a. “Timochenko,” said “no” to the accord.
The negotiating teams acknowledged on Friday the need to listen to those voters who rejected the agreement in order to “understand their concerns and quickly find a way forward.”
“All proposals for adjustments and clarifications resulting from this process,” will be discussed “to provide guarantees for everyone,” the delegations said.
They also asked the United Nations to authorize the UN mission established to monitor and verify the implementation of the peace accord to begin work, even though the referendum result has left the agreement in limbo for the moment.
“We will continue implementing confidence-building measures of a humanitarian nature, such as the search for disappeared people, the pilot plans for clearing landmines, the voluntary substitution of illegal crops, and the evacuation of minors from (rebel) camps,” the joint statement said.