Colombia, the peace deal between the FARC and government explained

The Colombian government and FARC rebels have finally signed a historic agreement, bringing the country a step away from peace.

After over fifty years of war, more than 260,000 victims and four years of negotiations Colombia has  finally found peace. An agreement has been signed between the Colombian government and the guerrilla groups of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Colombia peace
People celebrate the achievement of the peace agreement that ends what seemed to be endless guerrilla warfare in Colombia.

The peace deal has been finalised

Negotiations to reach a final peace deal between the two parties, conducted in Havana, Cuba, have finally come to a conclusion, ending what seemed to be endless guerrilla warfare. Delegations of the Colombian government and the FARC, under the supervision of Cuban and Norwegian Ministers of Foreign Affairs, have declared that they’ve reached a “final, comprehensive and definite agreement on all the points of the agenda of the General Agreement for Termination of Conflict and Building a Peace Stable and Lasting in Colombia”. “The war with arms is over, now begins the debate of ideas”, the commander of the FARC Ivan Marquez said after that the deal was signed.

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Il presidente colombiano Juan Manuel Santos e Rodrigo Londoño, leader delle Farc, si stringono la mano davanti al presidente cubano Raul Castro

What the agreement deals with

The peace deal made provision for the disarmament of guerrilla groups – which has long been postponed during the peace talks because of the vote of no confidence from the FARC – and (of course) the end of hostility. Another much discussed issue was the request for the rebels’ active political participation. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that “the FARC former members may gain access to the nation’s political life, will have some spokespeople in the Congress, with voice but without a vote, to discuss only issues related to the implementation of the accords”. The deal agrees that the FARC will have non-voting representation in Congress until 2018 and participate in the elections. The agreement promotes the development of democracy, taking into consideration the rights of the most vulnerable and affected social groups by the conflict. The historic deal also agrees the creation of a “bank of the land” to reallocate land, including areas seized illegally during the fighting, as well as the War on Drugs, with the FARC’s commitment to end their production.

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Two guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) © AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images

The Plebiscite for peace accords

After that the deal has been agreed, Colombian people are called to vote in a national referendum called “plebiscito por la paz” on 2 October to approve the accords. “Colombians, the decision is up to you – President Juan Manuel Santos said. – The Colombians hold the key to their future in the hands”. The result of the referendum will be binding and considered valid only if 13 percent of Colombia’s registered voters votes yes.

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