UN observers face probe for dancing with rebels

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BOGOTA: The United Nations is investigating more observers for taking part in a New Year’s Eve party at which leftist FARC rebels were present, a United Nations source said Saturday.

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The news came just two days after four members of the UN monitoring mission for the Colombian peace process were sacked for dancing with FARC rebels at a New Year’s Eve party.

It was not immediately clear how many people were involved in previously unseen footage now being investigated and images on social media apparently of a similar nature, the UN source said.

“It is under investigation. And the UN mission in Colombia will take whatever steps may be necessary. We are totally committed to being impartial,” the source told Agence France-Presse.

UN monitors are overseeing the FARC’s disarmament as part of a peace deal the leftist guerrillas signed with the government to end a more than five-decade conflict.

But controversy erupted Thursday when Colombian media broadcast videos of UN monitors, dressed in their pale blue uniform vests, swaying to tropical beats with FARC fighters in their arms at a camp in northern Colombia where the rebels are gathering before laying down their weapons.

The UN said that after investigating the incident, it had decided to “separate” three monitors and their supervisor from its mission.

It said their behavior was “inappropriate” and “does not reflect the mission’s values of professionalism and impartiality.”

After signing a peace deal with the government in November, the FARC’s 5,700 fighters are currently gathering near 26 zones where they are due to demobilize over a period of six months.

The UN has sent 280 monitors to oversee the process, a contingent set to eventually number 450.

Founded in 1964, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is the largest rebel group in a conflict that has claimed more than 260,000 lives.

AFP

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  1. “. . . four members of the UN monitoring mission . . . were sacked for dancing with FARC rebels at a New Year’s Eve party.”
    Therefore, why in the Philippines is the UN been allowing for YEARS the country’s secretary of justice PARTYING with incarcerated drug lords right there at the national prison? Pictures attest to this, even the then Pres. of the Phil, Aquino, has pictures with the top drug lord inmate. Concerts, prostitution, gambling, were celebrated and condoned by this same Justice Dept. Head. The maximum (life sentence) prison area earned the by-word, Little Las Vegas. This same Head allegedly collected drug money to finance her candidacy to the Senate. That logically and summarily, left thousands of Filipinos drug addicts.
    Pres. Duterte is now faced with rehabilitating a million drug addicts (who surrendered to the government), let alone, investigating why illegal drug trade proliferated during this said Justice Dept Head’s incumbency. Double standard UN? Aquino gave $1billion to WB at the start of his presidency; Pres. Duterte won’t even think of it. Could this be one of the reasons?