Cease Fire: Accord for a Firm and Lasting Peace

Agreement on the Definitive Ceasefire (Oslo, 4 December 1996)

A. Ceasefire

Concept

1. Ceasefire means the cessation of all insurgent action by URNG units and the cessation of all counter-insurgent action by the Guatemalan armed forces.

Entry into force

2. The ceasefire shall enter into force as of 0000 hours on D-day, the date on which the United Nations verification mechanism shall be in place with full operational capacity. This phase must be completed no later than D+60, with the demobilization of URNG.

3. The parties agree to maintain the current cessation of offensive military activity by URNG and of counter-insurgent military activities by the Guatemalan armed forces until D-day.

4. The United Nations shall notify the parties of the establishment of the verification mechanism as soon as possible so that D-day may be set.

Deployment of the verification mechanism

5. From D-10 to D-day the United Nations shall deploy its personnel and equipment in order to verify the ceasefire at the sites determined by the parties in the annexes to this Agreement.

Verification sites

6. For purposes of verification, during the period of the ceasefire, representatives of the United Nations shall be present in the military units of the Guatemalan armed forces designated in annex C and at the URNG assembly points specified in annex A to this Agreement.

Ban on political propaganda

7. During troop movements and once at the assembly points, the assembled forces may not engage in any propaganda or political activities beyond the assembly points.

B. Separation of forces

Concepts

8. Redeployment of Guatemalan armed forces units: withdrawal means the establishment of spaces in which there is no Guatemalan armed forces presence of any kind. These spaces are to ensure safety and logistical support for URNG in order to facilitate verification by the United Nations.

9. Assembly and disarming of URNG members: assembly of URNG members shall take place at the points specified by the parties. Their size shall be determined by the number of URNG members to be assembled and shall be sufficient to allow for temporary residence in adequate conditions.

Separation distance

10. Once the assembly points for members of URNG have been agreed upon and the military units of the Guatemalan armed forces referred to in annex C have been redeployed, the minimum distance between the units and the assembly points shall be 6 kilometres, in order to ensure that the operation proceeds without incident. The URNG assembly points shall be located preferably no less than 20 kilometres from the border.

Security zone

11. A security zone having a radius of 6 kilometres shall be established around each assembly point in which no units of the Guatemalan armed forces, Volunteer Civil Defence Committees (CVDC) or members of URNG may be present.

12. Only United Nations verification units may have access to these zones. Police activities may be carried out subject to coordination with the United Nations verification authority.

Coordination zone

13. A coordination zone extending a further 6 kilometres shall be established around each security zone. Movement by military units of the Guatemalan armed forces and CVDCs must be coordinated in advance with the United Nations verification authority.

Establishment of assembly points and transit routes

14. Assembly points and transit routes are listed in the following annexes to this Agreement:

(a) Annex A: Assembly points for URNG units;

(b) Annex B: Transit routes by which URNG units are to travel to the assembly points;

(c) Annex C: Redeployment and location of Guatemalan armed forces military units subject to verification.

Information concerning troops and weapons

15. URNG shall provide the United Nations with detailed information on the number of troops, lists of names, inventories of weapons, explosives and mines, and all other necessary information concerning the existence of minefields, munitions and other military equipment, both in their possession and in storage. The Guatemalan armed forces shall likewise provide updated information on the number of troops in the units to be redeployed which are identified in annex C. Both parties shall transmit this information to the verification authority no later than D+15.

16. The parties agree to transmit to the verification authority within the time agreed with both of them any additional information required by the authority.

Start of redeployment

17. Redeployment of the units of the Guatemalan armed forces designated in annex C shall begin on D+2 and shall continue until D+10, or earlier, if possible.

18. URNG troops shall begin to move towards the assembly points designated in annex A from D+11 to D+21 or earlier, if possible. They shall be accompanied in this move by the verification mission.

19. The Parties shall communicate to the United Nations verification authority no later than D-10 the full programme for the moves of their respective forces (composition, route to be taken, when the move is to begin and any other information needed to complete the verification).

Troops to be assembled

20. The troops to be assembled by URNG are as follows:

(a) Members of the various guerrilla fronts or their equivalent in each URNG organization, having command, policy, security, intelligence, logistic, medical service, permanent force and minor unit structures;

(b) Armed elements organized into groups known as local, resistance guerrilla forces and similar groups in each URNG organization, which have been established to provide combat support;

(c) Armed elements organized into groups operating in the urban and suburban fronts of the various URNG organizations.

Restrictions on assembled URNG troops

21. Assembled URNG elements undertake not to leave the assembly points without the consent and verification of the United Nations. They may do so if they are unarmed and accompanied by verification representatives in coordination with the Government of Guatemala, in the cases provided for in the following subparagraphs:

(a) Medical treatment;

(b) To hand over clandestine stores of arms, munitions and equipment located anywhere;

(c) To point out areas where there are minefields;

(d) For any other humanitarian purpose, whether individual or collective;

(e) To conduct consultations with other assembly points or working groups.

Verification of military units of the Guatemalan armed forces designated in annex C

22. The military units of the Guatemalan armed forces designated in annex C of this document shall be subject to verification programmes by the United Nations during the ceasefire process and shall give prior notice of their movements to the verification authority when such movements are scheduled to be conducted within the coordination zones.

Restriction of airspace

23. This shall enter into force on D-Day; utilization of airspace shall remain restricted as follows:

(a) Military flights over security zones shall be prohibited save in case of disaster or public emergency in which case advance notice of such flights shall be given to the United Nations verification authority;

(b) Military flights over coordination zones shall be permitted with advance notification to the United Nations verification mission.

Disarming of URNG

24. Disarming shall consist of the depositing, registration and handing over to the United Nations of all types of offensive and defensive weapons, munitions, explosives, mines and other supplementary military equipment in the possession of URNG forces, whether in their possession or in minefields or clandestine storage anywhere.

Control of armaments

25. From D+11 to D+42 in URNG assembly points, weapons, munitions and other military equipment shall be deposited in special warehouses designated by the United Nations; combatants, however, shall keep their personal equipment and weapons as long as they remain in those locations.

26. Each warehouse shall have two locks; one key shall be held by the United Nations and the other by the URNG official in charge of each encampment. The United Nations shall periodically check the inventory of each warehouse.

C. Demobilization

Concept

27. Demobilization means the ending of URNG military structures in the agreed assembly points. The integration of URNG in the country's political life shall proceed in accordance with the agreement on basis for the integration of URNG into the political life of the country, which is subject to United Nations verification.

Operational aspects

28. The phased demobilization of URNG combatants and their integration, within a framework of legality, into the civil, political, socio-economic and institutional life of the country shall be based on the provisions of the agreement on basis for the integration of URNG into the political life of the country and in accordance with the implementation of the agreement on the timetable for implementation and verification of the peace agreements. The demobilization shall be carried out as follows:

(a) From D+43 to D+48: 33 per cent;
(b) From D+49 to D+54: 66 per cent;
(c) From D+55 to D+60: 100 per cent.

Logistical support

29. A commission made up of representatives of URNG and of the Government of Guatemala shall be established under the coordination of the United Nations, in order to provide logistical support to the ceasefire and demobilization process. The number of members of the Commission shall be determined in accordance with needs.

Handing over of weapons and munitions

30. Prior to the demobilization of the last group of combatants, and by D+60 at the latest, URNG shall hand over to the United Nations all weapons and military equipment of its forces whether in its possession or in storage.

D. Verification

Term

31. International verification by the United Nations means on-site monitoring of the fulfillment by both parties of the commitments entered into in this Agreement.

Start of verification

32. Verification shall start on D-day when the ceasefire comes into effect, in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, without thereby restricting fulfillment by the Guatemalan armed forces of their constitutional function in the rest of the national territory.

Coordination and follow-up

33. For the purposes of coordination and follow-up the Parties undertake to designate officials, at different levels, to liaise with the verification authority.

E. Final provision

This Agreement shall be part of the Agreement on a firm and lasting peace and shall enter into force when the latter is signed.

Implementation History

1997

Full Implementation

The parties maintained an informal ceasefire during the peace process, beginning on 19 March 1996.1 The informal ceasefire was upheld. The Agreement on the Definitive Ceasefire (Oslo, 4 December 1996) stipulated that the formal ceasefire would begin when the UN military observer group was ready to take on its duties. It did so on 3 March 1997, and it verified that the parties fully implemented the Agreement on the Definitive Ceasefire on 14 May.2

  • 1. “Report of the Secretary-General on the Group of Military Observers Attached to MINUGUA,” United Nations Security Council (S/1997/432), June 4, 1997.
  • 2. Ibid.
1998

Full Implementation

Commitment to the formal ceasefire was strong throughout the implementation period.

1999

Full Implementation

Commitment to the formal ceasefire was strong throughout the implementation period.

2000

Full Implementation

Commitment to the formal ceasefire was strong throughout the implementation period.

2001

Full Implementation

Commitment to the formal ceasefire was strong throughout the implementation period.

2002

Full Implementation

Commitment to the formal ceasefire was strong throughout the implementation period.

2003

Full Implementation

Commitment to the formal ceasefire was strong throughout the implementation period.

2004

Full Implementation

Commitment to the formal ceasefire was strong throughout the implementation period.

2005

Full Implementation

Commitment to the formal ceasefire was strong throughout the implementation period.

2006

Full Implementation

Commitment to the formal ceasefire was strong throughout the implementation period.