Sinn Féin’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Seán Crowe TD, has welcomed the UN announcement that they have received all individual arms from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) combatants and that the FARC has announced it is no longer an armed group.

Crowe called on the Colombian Government to deliver its side of the peace agreement and to urgently resolve its outstanding obligations, including the release of all qualifying prisoners.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“I welcome that the UN has announced that FARC combatants have handed over all their individual weapons. The FARC leadership have declared that they are no longer an armed group and have moved to become a non-armed political organisation.

“This historic move comes 53 years after the war in Colombia began and is a hugely significant step in the peace process.

“Colombia is at a crucial moment in its history and the Government must not squander this opportunity by dragging its feet and not living up to its own obligations under the peace process.

“I am conscious that Jesús Santrich, a senior FARC member and negotiator, is now on hunger strike in solidarity with the prisoners who still haven’t been released under the early release mechanisms of the peace process. I understand there is huge frustration that the amnesty law isn’t being fully implemented by the judiciary and most of the prisoners have yet to be freed.

“I want to reiterate my call at this delicate stage for the Colombia Government to urgently live up to its obligations under the peace process, implement the amnesty law, and release all qualifying prisoners.”