2 July 2008
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11674

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL WARMLY WELCOMES RESCUE OF HOSTAGES IN COLOMBIA;


SEEKS IMMEDIATE, UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF REMAINING HOSTAGES


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:


The Secretary-General warmly welcomes today’s announcement by the Government of Colombia regarding the rescue of hostages held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), including former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, three United States citizens and eleven members of the Colombian armed forces.  These hostages and so many others still held captive in Colombia have endured years of hardship and privation.  Kidnapping is an abhorrent crime and an egregious violation of international humanitarian law.


The Secretary-General calls on the FARC to immediately and unconditionally release the remaining hostages, whose security is their responsibility.  He urges the FARC and other groups to engage in dialogue with the authorities with a view to freeing hostages and ending the violence that has afflicted Colombia for so long.


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For information media • not an official record