Colombia: UN report blames FARC and paramilitary groups for civilian deaths

Colombia: UN report blames FARC and paramilitary groups for civilian deaths

Paramilitary and rebel groups in Colombia are responsible for scores of civilian deaths in the Medio Atrato region of the country, according to a new United Nations report.

The report by the Colombia Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, released in Spanish on Tuesday, covers the work of an observation mission which earlier this month evaluated violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Medio Atrato.

The Office found the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) to be responsible for the deaths of more than 100 civilians and injuries to some 80 others, stemming from the rebel group's use of gas cylinder bombs.

The United Self-Defence Groups of Colombia (AUC) was also responsible for what occurred, according to the report, which points out that the paramilitaries had exposed the civilian population to the dangers of military action.

The report adds that the Government of Colombia failed to meet its obligations to prevent what occurred and to protect the civilian population. The Government did not heed early warning calls of the impending confrontation between the FARC and the AUC, the report said.