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Colombian Military Sends Units to Ituango, Abandoned by Residents Due to Rebel Activity

© AP Photo / Fernando VergaraA Colombian Army Special Forces soldier waits to take part in a show of military exercises at the Tolemaida military base
A Colombian Army Special Forces soldier waits to take part in a show of military exercises at the Tolemaida military base - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.07.2021
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MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Colombia's Defense Ministry sent an additional 250-man unit to the municipality of Ituango, in the northwest department of Antioquia, where more than 4,000 people have been forced to flee their homes due to the activity of illegal armed groups.
"In Ituango, there is an outflow of compatriots, already more than 4,000 people. I want to make it clear to this ‘18th residual group’ of FARC dissidents [rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] and a man named Camilo that we will not allow them to continue to intimidate, to achieve universal fear and migration in the area," Defense Minister Diego Molano Aponte said in an address posted on his Twitter account on 27 July.
Police and ambulance , Colombia (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.11.2020
Over a Dozen People Massacred in Colombia's Antioquia, Cauca, Local Authorities Say
"I ordered the military forces under the command of General Juvenal Diaz Mateus to send an additional 250 troops to Ituango. After conducting a security council, the population should be given guarantees of a dignified and voluntary return. Of course, with appropriate security guarantees," Molano said.
According to the minister, the air force has already delivered 4.5 tonnes of humanitarian aid to this area north of Medellin, and the army will deliver another 40 tonnes within a week.
The displacement began on 22 July, but only this Monday afternoon was a helicopter from the government of Antioquia and the Colombian army able to land, bringing food and blankets.
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