September 25, 2007

The peace accords, signed on Janu- ary 16, are 122 pages long. They in- clude agreements about the armed forces, national civil police, judicial system, electoral system, economic and social issues, political participation of the FMLN and cease-fire arrangements. The following is a brief summary of some of the key agreements: Security Forces The existing National Guard and Treasury Police are to be disbanded, and their members are to be incorpo- rated into the armed forces. This was to be completed by March 1. A new professionally trained Na- tional Civil Police under civilian con- trol is to replace the existing national police. A majority of its members must not have had any prior involvement with the government or the FMLN, but former national police and FMLN guer- rillas can apply for admission to the training academy and will be screened on the basis of their records. During the transition period, the National Com- mission for Consolidation of Peace (COPAZ) will nominate and help ad- vise a director. The new police force will be phased in overa two-year period. Armed Forces The doctrine of the armed forces will no longer stress internal security. Instead, its mission will be restricted to the defense of territorial integrity from external military threats, Training of the armed forces will stress respect for human rights. An ad hoc commission of three prominent Salvadorans will evaluate all members of the officer corps in terms of respect for law and human rights, pro- fessional competence, and aptitude for serving in a democratic society. Defi- ciencies in any one of these areas will be sufficient grounds for dismissal. The ad hoc commission is to complete its evalu- ation by August 15. The government agrees to reduce the size of the armed forces. The ac- cords do not specify the final numbers, but the military will be cut from 54,000 at the time of the signing to approxi- mately 30,000. The U.S.-trained Immediate Reac- tion Infantry Battalions, which have been accused of committing numer- ous atrocities, will be disbanded be- tween July 15 and the end of Novem- ber, and their current personnel reas- signed or retired. The National Intelligence Director- ate is to be dissolved by June 15, and a new State Intelligence Organization, under the direct control of the Presi- dent, will be established. The Legisla- tive Assembly can remove the Director if charges of serious human rights vio- lations arise. FMLN The FMLN structures are to be dismantled under U.N. supervision in the last two weeks of October, and members will be reintegrated into the political and institutional life of the country. The FMLN will have the right to form a legal political party, and to set up its own radio and T.V. facilities. The pro- cess of legalization was to begin May 1. Social-Economic Issues The government must implement the existing agrarian reform law and consolidate disparate agrarian legisla- tion into a new Agarian Code. The government agrees to respect de facto land tenancy in conflictive zones while it seeks to purchase occu- pied land from absentee owners. It also agrees to provide expanded agricul- tural credit to farmers in conflictive zones. A special commission under COPAZ will review, on a case-by-case basis, land conflicts in these zones. The government agrees to permit direct external financial and develop- ment assistance to local communi- ties. The government will adopt mea- sures to alleviate the social cost of its structural adjustment program, The accords call for the creation of a Forum for Social-Economic Con- certacidn to seek consensus on eco- nomic policies. The forum will be made up of representatives from govern- ment, business, labor and consumer groups. The government will develop a Na- tional Reconstruction Plan for the con- flictive zones reflecting input from all sectors of society. The plan will in volve infrastructural development as well as employment, housing, education, and health programs. The plan is to be car- ried out in 108 designated municipali- ties in the conflictive zones, and will give special attention to the needs of ex- combatants. With the support of the U.N. Development Program, the pro- grams are to be carried out by a combi- nation of government agencies, private businesses and non-governmental or- ganizations.. External funding sources are being sought. Judicial Reforms The accords call for the creation of professional training mechanisms and standards for the judiciary, and for the lppointment of a National Human Rights Ombudspcrson. rimetable Most of the measures are tobe imple- nented during the cease-fire period of line months. There are specific dead- lines for each of the key provisions. Durine theccaw-fire. armed forces units Supervision and Verification COPAZ will oversee the implemen- tation of critical provisions of the ac- cords and will monitor compliance COPAZ will be made up of two repre- sentatives from the government (one 01 them from the military), two from the FMLN, and one each from the six po- litical parties represented in the Legis- lative Assembly (ARENA, PCN,MAC. the Christian Democrats, the Demo- cratic Convergence and the UDN). The Archbishop and the U.N. human rights monitoringagency ONUSAL will have obsenler status at COPAZ. ONUSAL will monitorcompliance with the cease- fire provisions and will help train the new police force.

Tags: El Salvador, negotiations, Peace Accords, FMLN, Alfredo Cristiani

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