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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Colombia and FARC sign historic ceasefire deal

The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have signed a ceasefire, which includes the armed group laying down their arms after more than 50 years of conflict.

Negotiators signed the cease-fire agreement on Thursday in the presence of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC commander Rodrigo "Timochenko" Londono at a ceremony in Havana.


  • The historic event was also attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the presidents of Cuba, Venezuela and Chile and the Norwegian foreign minister.

  • The agreement is a final step in peace negotiations ongoing since 2012.

Colombia's decades-long civil war has left more than 220,000 people dead and driven millions from their homes.

Santos has said a final peace treaty could be signed next month.

"It is truly a historic agreement and it shows the two sides were able to reach a deal on the most sensitive points still standing in the very long peace negotiations, Al Jazeera's Alessandro Rampietti, reporting from Bogota, said.

The means of implementation of the final peace deal remains to be settled.

  • The questions of disarmament and justice for victims make the road to peace and reconciliation a hard one.

The sides are discussing designating zones where the FARC's estimated 7,000 remaining fighters can gather for a UN-supervised demobilisation process.

  • The Colombian president wants a referendum to put the seal of popular approval on its peace effort. But it faces resistance from some political rivals.

To hold a plebiscite, it needs the country's constitutional judges to approve a law already passed in Congress.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies
23/6/16

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