Church leader calls for humanitarian hostage releases in Colombia

Church leader calls for humanitarian hostage releases in Colombia

By agency reporter
4 Jul 2008

World Council of Churches general secretary the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia has expressed "joy" at the liberation of Ingrid Betancourt and other hostages in Colombia.

Welcoming the liberation "as an important step in a yet uncompleted process", Kobia called upon the FARC "to release hostages on a humanitarian basis".

Commenting on Betancourt's liberation, Kobia stated that the detention of hundreds of people who are still hostages of the FARC is "an unacceptable situation which should be reverted immediately".

"Hostage taking should have no place in the processes of social and political transformation," the WCC general secretary stated, reiterating the call to President Alvaro Uribe and the FARC "to look for a peaceful solution of the conflict in Colombia".

The WCC leader expressed hope that mediation efforts by the governments of France, Switzerland, Spain, Ecuador and Venezuela will be strengthened to "achieve peace with justice in Colombia".

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Buy from Ekklesia: 118 Days, Christian Peacemakers Held in Iraq, edited by Tricia Gates Brown (CPT, 2008), which includes a chapter by Simon Barrow and Tim Nafziger on reporting in the UK.

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