Colombia: Annan urges Government, rebels to find solution to present crisis

14 January 2002

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appealed to the Government of Colombia and a rebel group to find a solution to the present crisis in their peace talks.

Over the weekend, the Secretary-General was in direct contact with several regional leaders as well as President Andres Pastrana about the situation in Colombia, Mr. Annan’s spokesman told a press briefing today in New York.

“The Secretary-General strongly appeals to the Government of Colombia and the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] to make every effort, even at this late stage, to seek a solution to the present crisis in the peace talks that would permit them to renew their negotiations,” spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

James LeMoyne, the Secretary-General's Acting Special Adviser, is still in the FARC zone at the request of the parties, the spokesman said, adding that Mr. Annan appreciates the strong support that the 10 facilitating countries and the Catholic Church are extending to his good offices and to Mr. LeMoyne.

“The Secretary-General again emphasizes that all measures must be taken to protect the civilian population in the zone,” Mr. Eckhard said. “He urges the parties to reach a humanitarian accord that would ensure the respect for international humanitarian law in order to provide such protection.”


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