The European Union announced on Wednesday (5 October) that it would temporarily stop providing development funding designated for Colombia after the country had held a referendum in which voters said “no” to a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (FARC) rebel group. The peace deal has been in making for 4 years. The EU said that the provision of about €600 million earmarked to help the government uphold the peace record would be suspended. The peace deal with the guerilla movement, which has been involved in the continuing Colombian armed conflict since 1964, should have ended more than 50 years of conflict
Slovak minister, Ivan Korcok, said to the European Parliament that “obviously in the current situation we cannot continue with the launch of this fund”, speaking on behalf of Slovakia, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency. Nevertheless, he added that “EU engagement in the Colombian peace process will carry on” as 11 countries had committed to the proposed funding. The EU has also decided that it would still keep FARC off its list of terrorist organizations since “after the referendum, the FARC did not denounce the peace accord they had signed. In fact, they confirmed their desire to continue to search for a peaceful solution,” Mr Korcok said.
The Colombian Conflict began approximately in 1964 or 1966 as a low-intensity asymmetric war between the Colombian government, paramilitary groups, crime syndicates and left-wing guerrillas such FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN). Each of the sides had a different reason for fighting, nonetheless each of them also wanted to increase their influence in the Colombian territory. For example, FARC along with other guerilla groups claim to be fighting for the rights of the poor in Colombia to protect them from government violence as well as to provide social justice through communism. In contrast, the government forces claim to be reacting to the moves of the guerilla movements. Whatever the reason, both sides have been accused of drug trafficking, terrorism and many human rights violations.