Colombia peace: Farc gives deal ‘unanimous approval’

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Farc leader Timoleon Jimenez, known as Timochenko, will sign the agreement at a ceremony on Monday.

Colombia peace: Farc gives deal ‘unanimous approval’

(BBC) ┬áColombia’s largest rebel group has given its approval to a peace deal agreed with the government after nearly four years of talks.

The announcement of the unanimous decision by Farc members was made at the end of their conference.

“The was is over,” said the group’s chief negotiator, Ivan Marquez.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Farc leader Timoleon Jimenez, known as Timochenko, will sign the agreement at a ceremony on Monday.

But the deal will only be implemented if it is approved by the majority of Colombian voters in a referendum on 2 October.

The Farc’s 10th Conference was held in the remote Yari plains region, one of the group’s strongholds in southern Colombia.

Ivan Marquez at the Farc's conferenceImage copyrightAFP
Image captionIvan Marquez said Timochenko would be confirmed as the leader of the Farc when it becomes a political party

The Marxist group has been fighting the Colombian armed forces since 1964.

An estimated 220,000 people have died in the conflict. More than six million people have been internally displaced.

A final peace deal between the two sides was announced on 24 August in the Cuban capital, Havana, where the negotiations took place.

Five days later a bilateral ceasefire came into force, effectively ending the conflict.

“Never again will parents be burying their sons and daughters killed in the war,” Timochenko told journalists.

“All rivalries and grudges will remain in the past,” he said.


The Farc’s 52-year fight

Marxist FARC rebels march through a guerrilla camp deep in the jungles of southern Colombia, 22 June 2001.Image copyrightREUTERS

1964: Set up as armed wing of Communist Party

2002: At its height, with an army of 20,000 fighters controlling up to a third of the country

2008: The group’s worst year, when it suffered a series of bitter defeats

2012: Start of peace talks in Havana

2016: Definitive ceasefire


Mr Santos announced 2 October as the date for the referendum and urged the Colombian people to embrace peace.

One of the Colombia’s “most painful chapters” was coming to an end, he said.

Earlier this month the Farc handed over a first group of child soldiers as part of the peace accord.

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