Ecuador proposes multilateral force to patrol Colombian border

March 5th, 2008 - 1:14 pm ICT by admin  

Quito (Ecuador), March 5 (Xinhua) Ecuador’s security minister has proposed setting up a multilateral peace-keeping force to guard Colombia’s border if the country is unable to patrol it by itself. Speaking to the nation’s Constituent Assembly Tuesday, Ecuadorian Security Minister Gustavo Larrea said Colombia has no military garrisons to guard its border with Ecuador. Colombia’s largest insurgency group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), has hideouts on the border.

“Our proposal to the international community, the Organisation of American States and the UN is this: if Colombia cannot police its borders, let there be an international peacekeeping force,” Larrea said.

He condemned the Colombian military incursion into its territory Saturday that killed 21 FARC rebels, including their second-in-command, Raul Reyes.

He said Ecuador opposes the use of force for solving internal or external conflicts and regards kidnapping as an assault on human rights.

The minister however said the relationship between Ecuador and Colombia had been good prior to the Saturday’s incident. The presidents had been good friends.

“The peace of the region is at stake if the international community does not bring this action to a halt,” he said.

Larrea said any such resolution should create a basic protocol of understanding among Latin American nations, and include a commitment from Colombia to the international community that the nation will respect its neighbours’ sovereignty.

Ecuador severed diplomatic relations with Colombia Monday following the Saturday incident.

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