EU welcomes FARC hostage release

April 3, 2012 at 11:04 AM
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BRUSSELS, April 3 (UPI) -- Pledges by Colombian revolutionary group FARC to stop hostage-taking for ransom are welcome but the group needs to free remaining captives, an EU leader said.

Officials with the International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by its Spanish initials FARC, delivered to the humanitarian agency four soldiers and six police officers. Most of the hostages had been in FARC custody for more than 10 years.

FARC announced in February it would "forbid" kidnapping for ransom. The 10 prisoners released this week were the last of its government captives.

Catherine Ashton, high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, said she welcomed the news of the liberation of the 10 members of Colombian security forces.

"The FARC's stated intention to refrain from taking hostages for ransom is encouraging," her office said in a statement. "However, the High Representative calls on the FARC to finally heed the demand of the Colombian people for a sustainable peace in the country, in democracy and full respect of human rights."

Hundreds of civilians are being held by FARC in Colombia.

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