Freeing of Colombian hostages hailed as a sign of hope

By staff writers
January 16, 2008

The recent freeing of Clara Rojas and Consuelo González in Colombia has been welcomed by a World Council of Churches' spokesperson as a sign of hope that non-violence and justice is still possible in the troubled country.

The release of the two guerilla hostages, partly at the instigation of controversial Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez "is a sign of hope that shows that a negotiated solution to the situation in Colombia is possible", said the Rev Elenora Giddings Ivory, director of the WCC programme on Public witness: addressing power and affirming peace yesterday.

Expressing joy at the liberation of the two women held hostage by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for about six years, Giddings Ivory congratulated the mediators and called on the Colombian government and the FARC "to look for peaceful ways of ending the long lasting violent conflict".

Ms Giddings Ivory pointed out that it was a conflict in which "civil society has suffered the most", with hundred of civilians "victimized by the ongoing military operations".

She also affirmed that a "humanitarian agreement is still possible and urgent to put an end to the hostage situation". Several hundreds of people are believed to be held hostages by the FARC.

Rosa and her family are among the internally displaced people in Colombia who have been assisted in rebuilding their lives by members of Action by Churches Together (ACT) International.

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