colombia
27 Jun
  • By James Evans

Colombia’s FARC rebels completed disarmament process

As part of a historic deal made in 2016 with the Colombian government, the leftist rebel group FARC has formally completed its disarmament process bringing an end to over a century of warfare in Latin America’s oldest war.

So far roughly 7000 guerrilla fighters have travelled to demobilisation camps and fully given in their weapons and munitions to the UN-supervised disarmament. The fighters are supposed to make the transition back to civic society with the help of classes and training programs, while the FARC group will transition to a legal political party and gain a presence in the parliament, much like the IRA’s transition to Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland.

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(FARC members listen to a lecture on the peace process. File: John Vizcaino/Reuters)

The UN mission is also destroying caches of weapons, explosives and munitions whose locations have been given up by FARC, so far 77 have been destroyed.

UN monitors “today stored away the entirety of the FARC’s registered individual arms,” except for some arms that were exempted for transitional security at demobilisation camps, the UN said in a statement put will be disposed of by August 1st.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (L) holds a pen made from a bullet before signing an accord ending a half-century war that killed a quarter of a million people, as Marxist rebel leader Rodrigo Londono (R), known by his nom de guerre Timochenko, looks on in Cartagena, Colombia, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/John Vizcaino COLOMBIA-PEACE/

(President Santos prepares to sign with FARC leader Timochenko. Ricardo Maldonado EFE)

FARC leader Rodrigo Londono “Timochenko” will formally conclude the disarmament process by 15;00 GMT on Tuesday the 27th of June. Talks have been going on for over four years to reach this point and while the road to peace will be bumpy it seems that it will be possible. Other smaller rebel groups remain, the largest of which, the ELN has recently announced it too is starting peace talks with the government. There is still much work to do but the future looks a little brighter in Columbia today.

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(Disarament at demobilizatin camps in Colombia : UN, Photo/Steen Johansen)

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Sources:
UN Mission in Colombia- 26th June 2017. https://colombia.unmissions.org/en/united-nations-mission-receives-balance-individual-arms-farc-ep-accordance-29-may-road-map

Colombia’s FARC completes disarmament – UN. RTE, 2017. https://www.rte.ie/news/world/2017/0626/885743-colombia-farc/

Colombia FARC rebel’s complete disarmament: UN. 2017 http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/colombia-farc-rebels-complete-disarmament-170626232629067.html