UN urges Colombia to continue moving toward peace after ELN attack
The United Nations on Wednesday urged Colombia to continue moving forward toward peace after the deadly attack staged last week by the ELN guerrillas against the Bogota police cadet school.
“The tragic events of last week in Bogota remind us once again of the urgency of putting an end to violence and persevering in the efforts to guarantee a more peaceful future for all Colombians,” said the UN envoy to the country, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, at a meeting of the Security Council.
The top UN decision-making body met on Wednesday to review the peace process with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas, but the session was marked to a large extent by discussion of the attack claimed by the National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels, which killed 20 cadets and the suicide vehicle-bomber and left 68 people wounded.
Both the UN as well as Security Council member states once again condemned the attack and expressed their solidarity with Colombia, praising the reaction of Colombian society and the country’s leaders to the tragic attack.
“In the rapid rejection of the attack all across the Colombian political spectrum and in the marches held in the country last Sunday, Colombians demonstrated their ever broader consensus against violence,” Ruiz Massieu said.
The Mexican diplomat, who recently assumed the post previously held by France’s Jean Arnault, urged the South American country to continue nourishing that consensus.
Britain’s ambassador to the UN, Karen Pierce, said that the attack underlines the importance of ending the conflict with the FARC and noted the need to keep working toward implementing the peace agreement to build stability in the country.
US envoy Jonathan Cohen emphasized the progress achieved by Colombia and how it had become an “inspiration” for the entire world, but he added that this is not the time to become complacent, as evidenced by the deadly attack.
Most of the recent attacks in Colombia, according to Bogota authorities, have been committed by criminal groups and illegal armed organizations.