Venezuela | Fierce clashes of army with Colombian armed groups – VIDEO
Defence Redefined
Published on 05/04/2021 at 09:15

Venezuela will ask “immediate aid” from the United Nations to clear mines that were placed, according to Caracas, by Colombian armed groups in the southeast part of the country, on the border with Colombia, where fierce battles have been unfolding since March 21, announced yesterday, Sunday, the President of the country, Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela is preparing to “contact” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (…) to ask for urgent immediate aid from the United Nations (…) to defuse minefields left by these illegal groups of murderers and drug traffickers from Colombia,” Maduro said in a speech broadcast on public television.

Also read: Five killed in military helicopter crash in Cuba

The UN did not immediately respond to Reuters’ comment request. Last Wednesday, NGOs from both countries urged the United Nations to name a special envoy to deal with the humanitarian crisis in the Venezuelan-Colombian border region. According to the official report of the Venezuelan authorities, 15 people – 6 soldiers and 9 members of armed groups, which Caracas calls “terrorists” – have been killed in the hostilities. Yesterday Sunday, the Venezuelan army posted images of artillery fire on Twitter. Thirty-two members of the guerilla organizations have also been arrested, while weapons, explosives and drugs have been confiscated after the start of operations aiming, according to Caracas, to prevent Colombian armed groups settled along the border from entering Venezuelan territory.

“We have dislodged them from several camps. They left a mine territory behind (…). We have lost several soldiers because of these mines. Murderers!” said Mr Maduro. The Venezuelan president also claimed that groups fighting his country’s armed forces may be linked to “the Colombian army and the government of Ivan Duque (Colombian President)” who “are dressed as guerrillas to serve the drug trafficking routes.” According to sources close to the Colombian security forces, the “armed” groups that Caracas is talking about are dissidents of the former guerrilla organization Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP), which refuses to join the 2016 peace agreement and has once again taken up arms.

Also read: Colombia | At least 9 people were killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in the jungle

Although most of the 13,000 members of the FARC were disarmed and abandoned the struggle, various “armed” groups refuse to join the agreement which led to the dissolution of the largest guerrilla organization on the American continent. These groups, without a single administration, are funded by drug trafficking and illegal mining and have been reinforced in isolated areas of Colombia where they operate, according to the Colombian military intelligence service.

Venezuela’s socialist president had acknowledged on March 28 that it was indeed possible that the “armed” groups clashing with his country’s armed forces were FARC insurgents. Authorities in Caracas usually avoid referring to these rebels. The government of right-wing Colombian President Ivan Duque often accuses Venezuelan Socialist President Nicolas Maduro of offering refuge to members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) and FARC dissidents. Caracas denies it. Bogota and Caracas, with a 2,200-kilometer-long porous border, have severed diplomatic ties after Colombian right-wing President Ivan Duque recognized opposition leader Juan Yuan Yuan as Venezuela’s legitimate leader. The relations of the two neighboring countries with ideologically rival governments are extremely tense. More than 3,000 civilians, residents of the area where the fighting is raging, have taken refuge in Colombia, according to Bogota.

Also read: Colombia expels two Russian diplomats and Moscow retaliates





Pin It on Pinterest

Share This