Sinn Féin’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Seán Crowe TD, has warmly welcomed the announcement that the Colombia Government and the FARC have agreed a final peace agreement, calling it historic and a genuine opportunity for a lasting peace.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“I want to warmly welcome this historic announcement that a final peace agreement has been reached.
“I want to commend the extremely hard work that the Colombian Government and FARC negotiators have put in over the past four and a half years of talks. I also want to commend the Cuban and Norwegian Governments for helping to facilitate and support the talks process.
“This agreement has the potentially to end the 52 year conflict and it gives Colombians the chance to live in peace after decades of devastating war.
“No one is in any doubt that huge difficulties and challenges lay ahead. All sides to the agreement prepare need to take risks to ensure a fair and equitable peace process is established and that this process is nurtured and built on.
“The Colombian Government needs to bring to an end the continued brutal and violent actions of right wing paramilitary groups. In the 30 days between 21 February and 18 March 2016 30 political and community activists were murdered by these paramilitaries.
“Peace cannot grow in a climate of fear and repression. The Colombia Government needs to ensure that the democratic process is up to all political groups without fear of attack or assassination. The issue of land distribution and the millions of internally displaced by this conflict will be a huge and immediate challenge.
“I hope that formal negotiations between the Colombian Government and the ELN can also reach a successful conclusion, and that the Colombian people can begin the arduous task of building a lasting and inclusive peace in their country.”