Eamon Gilmore hails ‘historic’ peace deal in Colombia

Former tánaiste and EU envoy to the Colombian peace process, Eamon Gilmore, has described the country’s peace agreement as “important and historic”.
Eamon Gilmore hails ‘historic’ peace deal in Colombia

Colombia’s government and Marxist Farc rebels have reached a final peace deal to end a five-decade war. Under the historic agreement to end one of the world’s longest conflicts, Farc soldiers will lay down arms and reintegrate into civilian life.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Gilmore said the decision will ultimately rest with the people of Colombia, with a referendum expected to be held in October.

“Six million people have been displaced and 220,000 people have been killed in this decades-long conflict,” he said. “This is a very historic agreement. I have been involved since November. But the conflict is over and Farc will move to being a political outfit.”

Mr Gilmore said the EU will provide €575m in financial aid to help the transition to peace in the country and that Ireland was one of the first countries to support the setting up of the trust fund.

The former Labour leader said there is a lot of work to be done in selling the agreement as it includes a lot of concessions. Mr Gilmore added that the international community would support the implementation of the agreement.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan welcomed the historic signature of a peace agreement, which was reached in Havana, Cuba.

“I acknowledge that, notwithstanding this new agreement, there is a challenging road ahead,” he said.

“Ireland will continue to offer support to Colombia in the implementation of this important peace agreement, recognising that faithful implementation is critical to the success of any peace agreement.”

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