Balance of the caches extraction process from FARC-EP in accordance with the 29 may road map

7 Jul 2017

Balance of the caches extraction process from FARC-EP in accordance with the 29 may road map

Bogotá, 07 July 2017. Good morning to all press correspondents and media present here; and greetings to all people who accompany us through the live broadcast on the social media networks. Many thanks to everyone for joining us today.

I would like to begin with a statement on the current balance of the arms caches extraction process from FARC-EP, inscribed in the Final Peace Agreement and established in the protocol for the Laying down of Weapons.

In accordance with the road map approved on May 29 of this year, where the parties re-scheduled the stages for the FARC-EP's laying down of weapons, I would like to share with you that the UN Mission in Colombia, after storing the armament identified and registered in the Transitional Local Zones and Points, has continued with the tasks of extraction and storage in the containers the armament and ammunition extracted from the arms caches; as well as the verification of the destruction of the unstable material that has been found in the arms caches.

These activities are the result of an exhaustive process of planning, coordination and logists, first between the UN Mission in Colombia and the FARC-EP; and later with the Strategic Transition Command (COET its Spanish acronym), and the Police Unit for Peace Building (UNIPEP its Spanish acronym ); in order to deploy the operations from the 26 local headquarters of the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM), with the participation of the International Observers, accompanied by disarmed FARC-EP personnel  and supported by the Public Force units, which provide security conditions to the operations on the field.

To date it has been possible to gather information of the location of 660 arms caches: Of these 660 arms caches, the plan to extract 456 has been completed. This information has been shared with the Public Force units who are concerned with security to carry out the operations on the field. Moreover, another 204 arms caches are in the planning process to be extracted.

Of those 456 planned arms caches:

  • 94 arms caches have already been successfully executed and verified by the International Observers accompanied by FARC-EP personnel, with the support of security and protection of the Public Force.
  • 6 arms caches are currently in the process of being verified and executed in different parts of the territory.
  • For 356 arms caches we are waiting to receive, the confirmation of the logistical and security support by the Public Force in order to carry out the operations.

We are waiting to receive from the FARC-EP, in the coming days, the detailed information regarding the location of the remaining arms caches, to carry out the extraction planning.

As a result of the arms caches extraction, to date the UN Mission in Colombia has recovered 321 weapons and verified the destruction on the ground of the following unstable material:

  • 9 tons of different explosives.
  • 11,660 meters of detonating cord and slow wick.
  • 1,189 hand grenades and 40 mm.
  • 329 antipersonnel mines.
  • 9,607 starters fuses.
  • 92,131 ammunition of different caliber of small arms.
  • 243 mortar rounds, including 81 mm, 60 mm and rockets.

In addition, in the 26 areas of the laying down of arms, we have begun the process of destroying the ammunition registered and stored in the containers, in accordance with the procedures established by the Organization, based on international safety and security standards and environmental impacts. This material includes:

7,476 units of various explosives, including antipersonnel mines, hand grenades, rifle grenades, large caliber ammunition, TNT and various kinds of gunpowder, among others; and
987,807 Small-caliber weapon munitions.

As agreed, on August 1st, the Mission will have stored all the existing weapons in the camps, as well as that collected from the arms caches up until that date, to be extracted in the containers of the Transitional Local Zones and Points, areas that will become Territorial Spaces for Training and Reincorporation.

As of that date, the execution of operations will continue until September 1, when, by agreement of the parties in the communication No. 19 of May 29, "the arms caches that have not been dismantled, will remain at the disposal of the National Government, which will count on the collaboration of the former members of FARC-EP who will work with the National Government in the location and dismantling of these arms caches".

Finally, I would like to share a segment of the video related to the ammunition destruction procedure that the UN Mission is currently carrying out in the 26 Transitional Local Zones and Points.

Thank you.