Colombian government, FARC rebels to sign peace pact

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Bogota, Sep 3 (IANS) The agreement ending more than five decades of war between the Colombian government and leftist FARC rebels will be signed on September 26.

President Juan Manuel Santos on Friday revealed the date in a speech to the final session of the national congress of chambers of commerce, EFE news reported.

The president highlighted that September 26 is the feast day of Saint Peter Claver, a “great defender of human rights”.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, has battled a succession of governments since the mid-1960s and at its peak had some 20,000 fighters under arms.

The day after the accord is signed will mark the start of a 180-day period (D-Day+180) for the FARC to lay down their weapons, which are to be turned in to a UN mission.

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Different sections of the agreement have already been signed by the government’s chief negotiator, Humberto de la Calle, and his FARC counterpart Ivan Marquez, but it still must be inked by Santos and FARC chief Rodrigo Londono, better known by the nom de guerre Timochenko.



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