The 52 years of the war in Colombia will officially end on August 29! A permanent ceasefire between the Government of Colombia and the FARC began on Monday after the final details of the peace agreement which arose in Havana last week. This is a great time to celebrate. The latest conflict in the Western hemisphere has come to a close with the promise of peace for Colombia. As part of this process, Colombia will have a national referendum on 2 October (a symbolic date in which Gandhi was born) where Colombians can vote to legitimize the peace agreement. Colombians want peace but two major challenges face Colombia after signing the peace agreement between the entities.
There is still a long road ahead for the process of reconciliation. Many Colombians are concerned about what kind of Justice will serve for the FARC and the reintegration of ex-combatants into society. Historically this process has been a challenge for many countries in post conflict and has left fragmentation in the society. In second place, the violence and the culture of violence need to be targeted.
While in Colombia them rates of security and murder have decreased, the traffic of drugs continues creating instability, crime and fear, especially in the areas rural of Colombia where the presence of the State continues being weak.
Mercy Corps has State in Colombia for 10 years and continues focused in the search of solutions humanitarian and of development for the communities affected by the conflict. Much of our work is directed in the stabilization of areas rural, as well as in the investment in titling of land, access to them markets, improves of the education and the leadership of them young for improve the citizenship. Each time more, are focused in cover the gap in services public, increase the participation of it society civil and the access to them resources from the sector private, as well as the injustice and poverty-being these last them main causes of the conflict and inequity of resources in Colombia.
More than never, Colombia needs support of the community international to ensure is of that them needs humanitarian of 5.7 million of refugees and displaced are served. For decades, millions of refugees and displaced have State living in suburbs in the perimeter urban to the margin of the society. Is require solutions lasting to return them to their lands of origin and for those that not want to return, are included in the woven socio-economic of the communities in which reside. Also, the donor must provide support political and financial to long term, to invest in them causes of root of the conflict that has affected to all them Colombian. Only thus, there will be a Colombia truly at peace. Mercy Corps sympathizes with Colombia during this historic transition.
Article published in Mercy Corps The Globe, August 31, 2016 - Provash Budden, country Director, Mercy Corps Colombia