Colombia Government, FARC rebels sign historic ceasefire and disarmament agreement

The Colombian government and the leftist FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebels have signed a historic ceasefire and disarmament agreement.

It was signed in presence of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez and UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon at a ceremony held in Havana, Cuba.

Key Facts

  • The ceasefire and disarmament agreement is considered as one of the last steps toward ending a half-century conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands of people in Colombia.
  • The deal puts a definitive end to fighting in Latin America’s longest civil war, which has torn Colombia apart with shootings and bombardments in its coca-rich jungles and hills.
  • The ceasefire and disarmament agreement establishes a bilateral ceasefire and end to hostilities and the definitive laying down of arms.
  • Under the agreement, the FARC rebels must hand over its weapons to United Nations monitors within six months.
  • The FARC’s members (estimated to be around 7,000) will gather in “normalisation zones” for a demobilisation process.
  • The sides also agreed to government action against “criminal organisations” blamed for fueling the conflict.

About FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia)

  • FARC is Colombia’s largest rebel group and Latin America’s oldest left-wing insurgency.
  • It was established in 1964 as a communist-inspired peasant army fighting to reduce the gulf dividing rich and poor and land reform for equality in the Andean country.
  • Since its formation it was also active other Latin American countries in Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador besides Colombia.
  • In recent times, the FARC had shifted from its original ideology and was active in illegal drug trade, kidnapping and extortion activities.

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