Colombian government and FARC sign revised peace agreement
Bogota, Nov 25 (IANS) Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Rodrigo Londono, signed a revised peace agreement here on Thursday.
This came less than two months after a plebiscite narrowly rejected the original agreement, which took four years to negotiate, Xinhua news agency reported.
In his speech, London apologised to the victims of the conflict in the name of the FARC, and hailed the new agreement as the common wish of all Colombians to end the war.
“Words are the only weapons that Colombians allow us to use,” said Londono, who called on the former enemies to co-exist despite their differences.
Santos said the revised agreement was the result of a rigorous discussion between the government and FARC, who had gathered for weeks in Havana, Cuba, to consider proposals to those who opposed the first peace agreement.
Santos stated that peace must be the most important topic for any nation and that Colombia should become an example in a world riven by conflicts.
“Building a country at peace is the most ambitious and transformational project that any generation has ever had the opportunity to fulfil. I cannot imagine a more noble, a more sublime task, a more elevated effort than protecting life and building peace,” he stated.
Unlike the previous agreement, this new deal will not be subject to a public vote but will have to be approved by Congress over the course of the next week.
Within 90 days after the approval, the FARC will begin to lay down arms. And within five months, all the weapons of the FARC will be in the hands of the UN.