EU suspends Colombia fund after shock vote

FARC leaders Raul Reyes, Manuel Marulanda and Ivan Rios. [bixentro/Flickr]

The European Union announced Wednesday (5 October) it would suspend a development fund earmarked for Colombia, following a referendum in which voters rejected a peace deal with the FARC rebel group.

The bloc had set aside roughly €600 million to help Bogota uphold a historic peace accord that sought to end half a century of conflict with the Marxist guerrillas.

“Obviously in the current situation we cannot continue with the launch of this fund,” minister Ivan Korcok of Slovakia, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, told the European Parliament.

Colombia peace deal in tatters, EU stance on FARC group unclear

Colombia is struggling to save a peace deal that stumbled at the last hurdle, when the country’s citizens voted to reject an agreement that would have put an end to decades of conflict.

But he insisted that “EU engagement in the Colombian peace process will carry on,” adding that 11 countries had committed to the proposed fund.

The bloc would not row back on its decision to suspend the FARC for six months from its terror list, which it has been on since 2002, Korcok said.

“After the referendum, the FARC did not denounce the peace accord they had signed. In fact they confirmed their desire to continue to search for a peaceful solution,” he said.

Colombian voters said “No” to the deal – the product of nearly four years of talks – in a shock weekend result.

EU open to removing FARC from terrorist blacklist

The European Union could remove Colombian guerilla movement FARC from its list of known terrorists, pending the signing of the peace agreement between the group and the country’s government. EURACTIV Spain reports.

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