Opposition denounces death of four minors in army bombing

A Colombian opposition senator on Thursday denounced the deaths of four minors in the bombing of the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla camp that killed one of its most senior officers.

“Of the eight people killed in this bombing, four were minors,” left-wing senator Ivan Sepeda assured in a video he uploaded to his Twitter account.

To support this statement, the politician of the Democratic Alternative Pole referred to a document of the Colombian forensic service which mentions the death of two 17-year-old boys, a girl of the same age and a 13-year-old child “during the events of September 16 in El Littoral de San Juan “, in the prefecture of Choco, where the bombing took place.

Mr. Sepeda denounced both the “forced recruitment” of minors by the ELN and the fact that the bombing of the armed forces took place indiscriminately, something that is prohibited by international humanitarian law.

In a press release issued by the General Assembly, the General Staff refuted the senator’s allegations, referring to an operation “legitimate, lawful” and “within the framework” of international law.

“It is necessary to remember that it is the ELN that is violating international humanitarian law (…) by committing a war crime by forcing the recruitment of minors and putting them next to a military target,” the staff added.

“Those who recruit minors are committing crimes and violations of humanitarian law, they must be denounced,” and not the armed forces, said Defense Minister Diego Molano.

Two weeks after the bombing, the armed forces announced the death of Commander Fabian, leader of one of the most active ELN Fronts. He succumbed to his injuries a few hours after being airlifted to a hospital, as he hid all the time so as not to be found and arrested by the military.

In the decades since the bloody civil war in Colombia, insurgent groups have often been accused of recruiting minors. The special court set up under the peace deal between the government and the former Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) is investigating the forced recruitment by the Marxist armed movement of nearly 6,000 children under the age of 14.

The ELN, officially the only guerrilla organization operating in the country, has 2,450 fighters, according to the latest estimates from the INDEPAZ research institute.

Source: Zougla.gr by www.zougla.gr.

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