Colombia's Pres. Santos & FARC leader London shake hands
Ongoing since 2012 in Cuban capital Havana, the negotiations between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government have been finalised. The joint declaration announced the agreement and the end of the war that started in 1964.
Alongside the Kurdish struggle against the Turkish state, the resistance of FARC has been one of the longest running guerrilla wars in recent history. Commentators have highlighted several similarities between the two struggles and also possible similarities in peace negotiations, with Kurdish circles taking inspiration and expertise from the FARC-Colombia peace process.
FARC: Colombia wins, death loses.
Announcing the peace agreement, FARC negotiator Rodrigo Granda said “there are no places for winners or losers” in a peace reached through negotiation. Granda said in a tweet: “Colombia wins, death loses.”
FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez, code name Timochenco, said he “shares with the Colombian people” the pleasure he feels because of the stage the peace agreement has reached.
“Historic news for Colombia” had been announced in Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ previous statement.
Negotiations held in six fundamental areas
The historic peace agreement negotiations had seen intense discussion on six fundamental issues such as land reform, justice for victims of war, disarmament, integration of FARC guerrillas to the political landscape, anti-drug trade efforts and implementation of the peace deal.
Now, the agreement has to be validated by the people of Colombia in a plebiscite in October, following the approval of the Congress. Alvaro Uribe, president of the country between 2002 and 2010 and strictly against the negotiations, has already started propaganda against the plebiscite.
Guerrillas will gather under control of Latin American observers
If the result of the plebiscite is positive, FARC guerrillas will gather in locations determined by close to 500 observers appointed by the United Nations (UN). The rest of the agreement must be gradually implemented as guerrillas gradually lay down arms under UN control.
UN overseers had started arriving in Colombia last week to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire agreement signed in June this year. Most of the overseers were chosen from other Latin American countries that have seen many coups and civil wars in the 20th century.
Between 220,000 to 260,000 people lost their lives
It is assumed that more than 260.000 people lost their lives in the conflict starting in 1964 between the Colombian army and FARC, which was founded to continue the decades-long struggle of the villagers in 1964. As many as 45.000 people were forcefully disappeared during the war, while 7 million people were displaced.
Peace meetings had started in late 2012 in Cuban capital Havana under UN supervision to end the civil war. There had been talks between the FARC and the government back in early 2000s, but no agreement was reached.
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