U.N. backs mission to oversee Colombia deal

Jan 25, 2016, 4:58 PM EST
Source: Camilo Rueda López/flickr
Source: Camilo Rueda López/flickr

Joint request for U.N. supervision seen as sign of progress in confiict. 

BBC News reports:

The UN Security Council has approved the creation of an unarmed mission in Colombia to oversee a bilateral ceasefire, if Farc rebels and the government sign a peace agreement.

The mission would have a mandate for a year which could be extended if both sides request it.

Negotiators for the two sides issued a joint request for the UN's involvement last week during peace talks in Cuba.

They have set a deadline of 23 March for the signing of a peace accord.

The UN "political mission" will consist of unarmed observers from Latin American and Caribbean nations.

Reuters writes:

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said last year he would make such an appeal to the United Nations.

Santos, who staked his 2014 re-election on the peace talks, has been pressing for a deal to end Latin America's longest war, which has killed 220,000 and displaced millions since 1964.

The rebels' willingness to make the request jointly with the government is a sign of progress as the two sides aim to reach a comprehensive peace agreement before a March 23 deadline that negotiators set last year.