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18.01.2017 - Article

Commandante Kunta Kinte is a member of the FARC guerillas in Colombia. He’s a rebel representative helping to prepare the disarmament, the next big step towards peace.

Foreign Minister Steinmeier and his delegation flew into one of the disarmament zones. The question now is how will the peace process in Colombia progress?

The tranquillity of the green rolling hills is deceptive: this was a war zone not long ago. Steinmeier spoke to government troops and UN observers before meeting with Commandante Kunta Kinte. He memorably explained how he, a member of FARC, was now sharing a tent with the soldiers who had so recently been his enemies. A sign of hope after 52 years of war. But the scars left by the conflict go deep. Steinmeier thus cautioned:

“All those involved know that the peace accord is one thing, but that the implementation process, which now follows, is just as important and will be just as difficult.”

Germany is supporting the peace process in the field of reconciliation and transitional justice, in demining, and by establishing a German-Colombian Peace Institute. The aim is to turn this chance of peace into reality.

“I hope, for all those involved, that this succeeds, and that, by implementing the peace agreement, the entire population of Colombia will see that it was in the end worth working for peace and that those who wish to return will find their place in Colombian society.”

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