This Mechanism is important because it provides trust between the parties, society and the international community, it endows the ceasefire and reincorporation process high levels of reliability as well as it functions for the resolution of minor, technical and major obstacles in order to guarantee the stability of the entire process.
In its latest activity report, the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism evidenced its deployment throughout the country in key areas where the FARC-EP units and Armed Forces units are located in order to fulfill its task, in which it has monitored and verified the movement of insurgent troops into pre-grouping zones in preparation for the reincorporation process.
“The MM&V [Monitoring and Verification Mechanism] has monitored 183 movements of the FARC-EP structures to different PPTs [Temporary Pre-grouping Zones] during their regrouping activities in preparation for their movement towards the ZVTN [Transitional Local Zones for Normalization] and PTN [Transitional Local Points for Normalization]. All movements have been properly coordinated between the MM&V, the Public Force and the FARC-EP”
The activity report mentions the violation of the Bilateral and Final Cease of Fire and of Hostilities on part of the Armed Forces that resulted in the death of two FARC-EP members, and although the investigation results are not specified within the report, it does assure the “positive welcoming [on part of the FARC-EP and the Government] of the recommendations given by the MM&V to avoid recurrence” and despite these tragic events, the report highlights that “during this period [From November 7 to December 7], a strong commitment was shown by the parties in order to maintain the Bilateral and Final Cease of Fire and of Hostilities”.
There are still other challenges that have not been resolved, such as the infrastructural preparation of the Local Zones where the FARC-EP is to concentrate in order to start the process of decommissioning of weapons and reincorporation. The FARC-EP has denounced the Government´s bureaucratic obstacles and lack of political will to adequately prepare these Local Zones, which is holding back the stipulated calendar of activities and deadlines as well as the entire implementation process.
The activity report does not go into much detail on the previous other than its generic mentioning in its general observation list where it says that the “MM&V also noted the challenges in several areas such as: enabling FARC-EP camps”, however, it does mention other similar difficulties such as the “difficulties of different nature in food and health” to which it is important to “continue working in order to improve and efficiently resolve the health problems presented by FARC-EP members in the pre-grouping zones”.
These health issues require prompt resolutions and political will on part of the Government and the Mechanism itself due to the fact that something simple as going to a hospital requires a lengthy and inefficient bureaucratic process in order for the affected FARC-EP member to leave the pre-grouping zone without violating the ceasefire protocols.
In overall, progress is being made, the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism has kept up with the requirements that its job demands, however, there are still a series of issues that require resolution and more political will rather than bureaucratic technicality.