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Agreement on the Cleaning of Antipersonnel Mines Passed Between Governement and FARC


Within the context of de-escalation, to advance in confidence-building and to help create safe conditions for the people that are in risk areas because of the presence of mines, improvised explosive devices, unexploded ordnance and explosive remnants of war, and to provide guarantees of non-repetition to the communities, the government and the FARC-EP have agreed to request the organization Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) to lead and coordinate the implementation of a project for the cleaning and de-contamination of APMs, IEDs and UXO or ERW.

To ensure continuity of the process, it will open the possibility of including other organizations creditable or credited in Colombia.

  • Selection of Places: The National Government and the FARC-EP will select an initial number of places that will be the subject of a first stage of cleaning and decontamination in the context of de-escalation. The decontamination will prioritize those places where the population has greater risk of being affected by the presence of APMs, IEDs and UXOs or ERWs, based on the information available to the national government and the FARC-EP, and taking into account the information provided by specialized organizations and communities.

  • Collection of information using teams for Non-Technical Survey (NTS). A team of NPA will carry out the NTS within selected areas with participation in each NTS team of FARC representatives and technicians of the National Government, as required. The NTS must accurately identify the areas actually contaminated by APMs, IEDs and UXOs or ERWs, also relying on local communities next to contaminated areas. The NTS will be done in a traditional way with a questionnaire submitted previously by the National Government and the FARC-EP (including data of socioeconomic impact). The questionnaire should be developed specifically for Colombia. The team will evaluate all available information, consult key sources of information and it will also speak with men and women who live in the affected areas. The results of the NTS will be the basis for a cleaning and decontamination plan.

  • Cleaning and decontamination using multi-task teams. The NPA will form multi-task teams for the purpose of cleaning confirmed dangerous areas from the threat of APMs, IEDs and UXOs or ERWs, mark the areas that will not be cleaned during the pilot project and ensure that local communities understand the risks involved with APMs, IEDs and UXOs or ERWs (through risk education). In an initial stage, each multi-task team will consist of a coordinating leader and verifier of the NPA and government technicians. The Government will appoint BIDES (Battalions of Humanitarian Demining) for clearance. The whole process of cleaning and decontamination will be accompanied by two members of the government, of the FARC-EP and of the communities. The Government will expedite the certification process of the NPA in order to advance in other stages of this project, agreed between the National Government and the FARC-EP, and also have the support of civilian demining teams. Cleaning and decontamination of confirmed hazardous areas shall be in accordance with international and national standards.

  • Dialogue with communities. During the implementation of the cleaning and decontamination process, continuous and close dialogue will be maintained between the NPA and the communities to create confidence in the quality of the cleaning, decontamination or clearance operations, and the exchange of information about APMs, IEDs and UXOs or ERWs by communities to multi-task teams will be promoted.

  • Verification. To ensure that the cleaning, decontamination or clearance operations meet the necessary standards and to ensure that the territory is free from suspicion of APMs, IEDs and UXOs or ERWs, NPA will conduct the verification in a systematic manner and in accordance with best international practices and standards. All verification and the whole process, which comprises cleaning and decontamination, will be accompanied by two representatives of the National Government, two members representatives designated by the FARC-EP and two community representatives.

  • Formal delivery to national and local authorities and to the communities. The verification team of NPA, along with delegates from the National Government and the FARC-EP, will make formal delivery of the decontaminated land to representatives and local community authorities.

  • The guarantors will accompany the activities of this project.

  • The National Government and the FARC-EP will establish a technical group to define the sites, the roadmap for the implementation of this measure, including the forms and specificities of their participation in the project.

  • The National Government commits itself to guarantee the necessary technical and material resources and the transport logistics required by the NPA - which will have a humanitarian nature - for the implementation of the initiative and to take the necessary measures for the recovery of goods and services concerned. The medical support staff will be conformed by civilians. The Government will keep the Table informed on all the resources that have been supplied.

  • The National Government and the FARC-EP commit themselves to keep the areas clean and decontaminated, thus providing guarantees of non-repetition to the communities.

  • The Conversation Table establishes a mechanism to account for the progress and compliance in the implementation of this measure of de-escalation which is a mutual commitment.

  • NPA will certify that the site is free of suspicion of APMs, IEDs and UXOs or ERWs.
[Source: Joint Communiqué # 52, Humanitarian Agreement, Peace Delegation FARC-EP, Havana, 07Mar15]

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