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Colombia: UN chief concerned about uptick in fighting, urges continued peace talks

25 June 2015 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern over the current upsurge in fighting in Colombia in a reversal of recent attempts to de-escalate the country's long-standing armed conflict, the United Nations spokesperson's office has reported.

In a statement released earlier this afternoon, the Secretary-General's spokesperson confirmed Mr. Ban's call to all parties to the Havana talks and the Colombian people to remain hopeful and to persist in the search for peace.

Rebels from Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been in talks with the government for the last 30 months, seeking to end a 51-year conflict that has made almost a quarter of a million victims.

According to media reports, however, tension mounted in recent weeks amid clashes between insurgents and Government soldiers.

"The Secretary-General commends the parties for the important progress they have made thus far in negotiations, a process that has brought the country closer to peace," the spokesperson's statement continued. "He is confident they can overcome the current impasse and bring the process to a successful conclusion."

In addition, the statement noted that Mr. Ban called on the parties to resume the path toward de-escalation and accelerate the pace of the negotiations in order to restore momentum and public confidence in the process and added that the Secretary-General "firmly believes that peace is possible as long as Colombians can put this goal above all others and find ways to overcome their differences, both in Havana and in Colombia."

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