More than 13,000 civilians in Colombia have had to flee clashes between armed groups and government forces this year as violence once again flares in the restive country, according to a report to the UN Security Council.
“The situation in the Pacific region is especially worrying,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in the report, which was obtained by AFP on Friday. “Thousands of civilians are stuck in the crossfire between illegal armed actors and law enforcement.”
Of the 13,422 people who have been displaced this year, 5,574 are minors, the report said.
Colombia is currently experiencing the worst violence the country has seen since the 2016 peace accord between Bogota and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) group ended a half-century civil war.
Some guerrilla fighters refused to join that peace process, and have continued their struggle, while also mixing with drug-traffickers in lawless areas of Colombia.
Dissident FARC rebels, leftist guerrillas, drug-trafficking groups and right-wing paramilitaries are all battling for control of the lucrative cocaine and illegal mining markets.