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WAR REPORT
'Serious effects' for Colombians following FARC peace pact
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Nov 9, 2017


The demobilization of Colombia's FARC guerrilla group has generated battles over territory, the Organization of American States (OAS) said Wednesday, resulting in violence ranging from forced displacement to the recruitment of minors.

The transition of former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels to civilian life has "rekindled the existence of power gaps," the organization's mission supporting the country's peace process said in its latest semi-annual report.

It said this has resulted in "serious effects" for communities, particularly those in rural areas and with indigenous heritage.

A variety of illegal armed groups are fighting fo territory once controlled by the FARC -- Colombia's largest guerrilla group -- in particular those areas linked to drug trades.

The OAS expressed "deep concern" for selective killings and threats against figures including community leaders, and also highlighted violence including extortion, gender-based violence, kidnapping and forced displacement.

It added demobilized former FARC guerillas and their families were not exempt from such violence -- noting the rise of the Gulf Clan, Colombia's primary criminal organization, and other armed groups on the Venezuelan border.

The report also mentioned the National Liberation Army (ELN), Colombia's only remaining active guerilla group, is pursuing a strategy to take over previous FARC territory.

The report, compiled from 960 field missions to 500 population centers as part of ongoing monitoring into violence in Colombia, recognized the government's efforts to improve security.

But it also pointed out communities still see these measures as insufficient.

FARC guerillas reached a peace agreement to end its half-century conflict with the government in November 2016, following four years of negotiation.

WAR REPORT
Blaming Iran, Saudi says missile strike may be 'act of war'
Dubai (AFP) Nov 6, 2017
Saudi Arabia and Iran traded fierce accusations over Yemen on Monday as Riyadh said a rebel missile attack "may amount to an act of war" and Tehran accused its rival of war crimes. Tensions have been rising between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and predominantly Shiite Iran, which back opposing sides in wars and power struggles from Yemen to Syria. On Monday, a Saudi-led military coalition ba ... read more

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