UN: Reintegrating ex-fighters is first challenge in Colombia

AP News
Posted: Jun 30, 2017 2:52 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. envoy for Colombia says the most urgent challenge following the handing over of the last weapons by leftist rebels is to reintegrate the former combatants into society.

Jean Arnault told the Security Council Friday that members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia have "a deep sense of uncertainty" about their physical security following disarmament and their economic future.

He said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has stressed that reintegration is a "daunting endeavor," particularly in light of entrenched illegal economies, the spread of armed groups, and violence against social leaders.

The Security Council said Friday it will work toward "a positive response over the coming days" to the Colombian government's request for a new U.N. mission focused on reintegration "and wider security guarantees."