Middle East

Approximately 20 people killed in clashes between Colombian rebels

Civilians were “likely” among the 23 casualties in the clash between ELN, the last recognized member of the guerrilla group, and opponents of the FARC rebellion in eastern Arauca, officials said. ..

Colombian President Ivan Duque has accused his counterpart Nicolas Maduro of accommodating Colombian rebels on the Venezuelan side of the border. (Reuters)

At least 23 people were killed in a fight between rival rebel groups in the border between Colombia and Venezuela.

President Ivan Duque says civilians are “likely” among the victims of a clash in eastern Arauca between Colombia’s last recognized member of the guerrilla group, ELN, and opponents of the FARC rebellion. Said it was.

Duque blamed his corresponding Nicolas Maduro for containing Colombian rebels on the Venezuelan side of the country’s 2,200 km border.

“23 dead were found in rural areas of northeastern Arauca,” said Deputy Defense Minister Gyro Garcia, without mentioning civilian casualties.

Opponents of the National Liberation Army (ELN) fighters and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who rejected the 2016 peace agreement, said, “We have been free to operate on Venezuelan territory with the consent and protection of the dictatorship.” The president said.

Carlos Camargo, a Colombian ombudsman, said 12 families had to flee the fighting in the municipalities of Tame and Saravena in Arauca.

Local governments report that some communities are in dire straits.

Jose Miguel Bibanco, director of Human Rights Watch’s Americas, said on Twitter that the border situation was “very serious.”

Break diplomatic relations

Colombia often accuses neighboring countries of containing rebel fighters.

Two years after the peace agreement ended nearly 60 years of civil war, the two countries broke diplomatic relations shortly after Duque became president of Juan Manuel Santos in August 2018.

Violence surged in Colombia, despite the arrangement that about 13,000 FARC guerrillas were armed and the movement turned into a minority party.

However, opponents continue to fight paramilitary groups, drug gangs and rebels to control trafficking and illegal mining markets in the world’s largest cocaine-producing countries.

It is believed that there are approximately 2,500 active ELN fighters and more than 5,000 FARC opponents active, the majority of whom are recruits.

Source: AFP

https://www.trtworld.com/americas/clashes-between-colombia-rebels-kill-nearly-two-dozen-53276?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Approximately 20 people killed in clashes between Colombian rebels

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