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US to revoke Colombian FARC designation as terrorist group

The Biden administration will revise the US list of foreign terrorist organizations to reflect the implementation of the 2016 peace agreement that ended the civil war in Colombia by suppressing the left-wing rebel group known as FARC

Earlier this week, Reuters reported that U.S. officials plan to remove the Farc – the acronym for Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) – from the State Department’s list of terrorist groups on which they were listed. for nearly a quarter of a century. , while adding two splinter groups called La Segunda Marquetalia and FARC-EP.

The two dissident groups rejected the peace agreement and continued to take up arms against the Colombian government in which many of their former FARC colleagues are now working.

Speaking at the department’s daily briefing, spokesman Ned Price said officials “have started the process of consulting with Congress on actions we are taking regarding the FARC,” but would not say whether these actions included removing the group from the list of terrorist organizations. .

But developments in Colombian politics that have taken place since the US-brokered peace deal have combined with US law to create wrinkles in Washington’s attempts to help Bogota.

According to Reuters, officials in the Biden administration and Colombian officials agree that keeping the FARC on the terrorist blacklist makes it harder to provide US aid to one of its closest South American allies, as many FARC members laid down their arms and became involved in the politics and economy of Colombia.

US law prohibits providing assistance to, or doing business with, any entity in which FARC members are involved.

While some Republican politicians have criticized the move as proof that Mr. Biden is making allies of so-called “communists,” the U.S. government has a habit of blacklisting terrorist groups when they cease hostilities in the United States. part of a peace agreement. Failure to do so can cause diplomatic headaches when formerly members of designated terrorist groups become involved in high-level international politics.

One of these groups, the African National Congress, became the ruling party in South Africa after the 1994 elections which marked the end of apartheid rule under a white minority government.

But the ANC, which the State Department designated as a foreign terrorist organization in 1988 under the administration of then President Ronald Reagan, remained on the government’s official blacklist until it was suppressed. by an act of Congress in 2008.

Because the ANC remained on the blacklist until then, senior South African politicians who had been in the ANC had to be given a special dispensation to enter the United States. This included the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela, who was President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

The Independent Gt

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