Currently, the Spanish Armed Forces have 5 deployed soldiers.
On 15th November 2016, the deployment of the Spanish observers commenced.
This is a UN Mission protected by Security Council resolution UNSCR 2261, and comprises the following stages:
- Stage 1 (Preparation): It aims to establish the mission headquarters in Bogotá and assess conditions at the eight regional offices, identified by the parties, where the Mission will also take place.
- Stage 2 (IOC): The focus will centre on preparing the Mission to operate at the local level with representatives of the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP.
- Stage 3 (FOC): Deployment of all United Nations observers and launch of the tripartite mechanism for monitoring and verification.
Stage 2 started following signature of the peace agreement. The mission was expected to last one year to complete phases 2 and 3, although it could be extended.
Despite the results of the plebiscite of 2nd October 2016 in Colombia, in which the people did not ratify the peace agreement, the United Nations Security Council approved the implementation of a cease-fire protocol. This decision authorised the deployment of additional observers necessary for this purpose. During this deployment, international observers would carry out their tasks without any armaments.
The deployment of the Spanish observers took place in Bogotá headquarters, before they were subsequently integrated into local teams (Team Sites). Once in Bogotá, they underwent a training period to prepare for their duties, before they were deployed to the verification areas.
Although the Mission is conducted under the authority of the UN, monitoring of both the mission and its military observers is carried out by the Spanish Operations Command. Security, medical care and logistics support will be supplied by the Government of Colombia together with the United Nations.
Through United Nations Security Council Resolution 2261/2016 (25th January) a political mission was established in which the UN acted as an international component and coordinator of the tripartite mechanism (together with the Government of Colombia and the FARC). UN was in charge of implementing a peace agreement in said country, by monitoring and verifying the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, as well as the laying down of arms. The resolution points out that this action should be carried out by unarmed international observers. This mission is known as MISSION I.
Subsequently, on 7th July, a Second Political Mission, known as MISSION II, was established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2366/2017. This mission, a continuation of the previous one, had an initial duration of 12 months, starting on 25th September 2017. Its fundamental aim was verification of the complete reincorporation and reintegration of the former FARC-EP staff, as well as their collective security guarantees.
At the end of 2017, necessary UN elements to verify the “Temporary, Bilateral and National ceasefire” as agreed between the Government of Colombia and the NLA in the agreements of Quito, were integrated into MISSION II. This task was added to the existing aims of MISSION II. However, due to the end of the ceasefire on 09/01/2018 without an extension, MISSION II returned to its initial aims.
On 26th August 2012, the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia- People´s Army (FARC-EP) signed in La Habana (Cuba) the General Agreement for the Termination of the Conflict and the Construction of a Stable and Lasting Peace.
On 19th January 2016, the Colombian Government submitted a request to the Secretary-General and President of the United Nations Security Council, which contained the Joint Statement between the Government of Colombia and FARC-EP.
The final Peace Agreement between them included a definitive bilateral and tripartite mechanism to monitor and verify the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, as well as the laying down of arms. It also recognises how essential the UN monitoring mission was in the context of this tripartite mechanism.
· July 3. The Spanish Brigade General Sáenz de Santa María is appointed Chief of the military advisors for UN Verification Mission in Colombia.
· September 3. The UN Security Council, under Resolution 2435, decided to extend the period of the Verification Mission resulting from the agreement between the Colombian Government and the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force (FARC in Spanish) till September 25th 2019.
· July 17. Second round of the presidential elections with Iván Duque as elected candidate.
· January 9. Temporary, Bilateral, and National Ceasefire comes to an end.
· June 27. Conclusion of the operational actions for abandonment of arms.
· March. Completion of the register of arms of the FARC-People’s Army (FARC-EP) in the local offices of Philippines and Pondores.
· December 1. The Colombian Congress approves the Peace Process between the Colombian Government and the FARC.
· November 15. Deployment of the first Spanish military component in the mission.
· July 29. Deployment Order received for the UN mission in Colombia.
· January 25. Resolution of the United Nations Security Council 2261/2016.
· August 26: The Colombian Government and the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force – People’s Army (FARC-EP) signed in La Habana (Cuba) the Final Agreement to End the Armed Conflict and Build a Stable and Lasting Peace (Acuerdo General para la Terminación del Conflicto y la Construcción de una Paz Estable y Duradera).