WCC calls for peaceful resolution to conflict in Colombia

By agency reporter
February 28, 2010

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has requested its member churches to advocate for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Colombia, the full respect of human rights and cessation of the so called "Plan Colombia".

"The violent conflict in Colombia can be overcome only through dialogue and political negotiations", the WCC executive committee said in a minute approved at the end of its 23-26 February 2010 meeting in Bossey, near Geneva, Switzerland.

The WCC minute calls on the churches in the United States of America "to press their government for an immediate cessation" of the "Plan Colombia", a US financial and military aid programme aimed at curbing drug production and training Colombia's army to battle rebel groups.

The WCC executive committee requests that foreign assistance to Colombia "be redirected from military to humanitarian purposes and for a renewed emphasis on strengthening respect for human rights in the country".

The WCC minute "urges religious leaders in Colombia to continue their efforts in promoting a peaceful resolution of the conflict, the disarming of the paramilitary and the restoration of the rule of law".

Colombia has "one of the world's most serious humanitarian crises", the WCC executive committee stated. As a result of a protracted conflict lasting over five decades, "thousands of people have lost their lives" and "millions are being forcibly displaced, mostly indigenous people, Afro-Colombians and farmers".

Recalling the Council's long history of "accompaniment to the Colombian people in their struggle for an end to the armed conflict", the WCC executive committee requests from its member churches "prayers and actions of concrete solidarity".

The full text of the WCC executive committee minute on violence in Colombia can be read here: http://www.oikoumene.org/index.php?id=2267&rid=f_13758&mid=1964&aC=d3b10...


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