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Colombia: Armed Conflict

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 4th May 2020.

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Photo of Clive Efford Clive Efford Labour, Eltham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the activity of (a) the Gaitanista Self-Defence Forces (AGC) in the Colombian department of Choco and (b) the response of the Colombian security forces to that situation; and if she make a statement.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

We are aware of reports of violence and intimidation by the Gaitanista Self-Defence Forces in parts of Colombia, and in particular the Chocó region. We remain extremely concerned about the continued presence of illegal armed groups in Colombia, and the impact their competition for control of illicit economies has on local people - even more so at this challenging time. The UK Embassy in Colombia is monitoring events in Chocó.

The UK has been vocal in expressing our concern about the effect the activity of these armed groups has on the future of peace in Colombia. We regularly raise these issues with the Colombian Government and in multilateral fora. Most recently, our Permanent Representative to the United Nations spoke on this issue at the UN Security Council on 14 April, and we consistently press the Colombian Government to focus on extending the rule of law to all parts of the country.

Colombia has made significant progress in its efforts to end the influence of such groups, and we remain steadfast in our support of the Colombian authorities as they work towards sustainable peace.

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