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Northern Ireland and Colombia

In November it was Remembrance Day and we were celebrating the end of World Wars One and Two and of all wars. I began thinking about current conflicts and ways of resolving them. Jesus said: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Children of God”. I had been reading a newspaper report of the visit of the president of Colombia to Belfast. He said: “I came to Belfast because it has been a real inspiration for me and for the peace process in Colombia. Many of the elements of the Northern Ireland peace process, I applied in the Colombian peace process”.

Several political leaders from Northern Ireland have been involved in assisting Colombian leaders and the left wing rebel group FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) reach a peace deal. Mr Santos is currently attempting to revive the landmark deal signed after four years of negotiation following its narrow rejection in the referendum last month.

More than 220,000 were killed in the conflict which lasted 52 years and more than eight million were driven from their homes. Now people are asking whether the Northern Ireland peace process can act as a model for Colombia.

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About Life and Work

Life and Work is the 138-year-old magazine of the Church of Scotland providing news and opinion on every aspect of church and religion within Scotland and further afield.
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