January 22, 2020 / 12:45 AM / a month ago

Colombia asks U.S., E.U. to include FARC dissidents on terrorist lists

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia is asking the United States, the European Union and other countries to include dissidents from the former FARC rebels on their lists of terrorist organizations, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) demobilised under a 2016 peace deal after more than five decades of conflict with the government, becoming a legal political party.

But several top commanders have rejected the accord and chosen either not to demobilize or to return to arms. The government considers the dissidents to be criminals without an ideological motivation unlike the traditional FARC.

“The foreign ministry announces the beginning of diplomatic efforts through embassies for the inclusion of organized residual armed groups as terrorist organizations on the lists of the E.U., the U.S. and other countries,” the ministry said on Twitter.

The effort is in line with a resolution adopted by a regional anti-terrorism conference held in Bogota on Tuesday, the ministry said in a statement.

Conference attendees, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, among others, rejected acts of terrorism and crimes committed by the National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels and residual groups.

Armed conflict in the Andean country could heat up this year, including through urban bombings, if dissidents follow through with plans to pressure the government into a new peace deal, an expert mediator told Reuters this month.

Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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