Members from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), a rebel group, and members of the Colombian government have signed a ceasefire, nearly bringing an end to over 50 years of war.
Juan Manuel Santos, the Colombian president, shook hands with Rodrigo Londono, the leader of Farc, after the ceasefire was announced. The deal has taken three years to come to fruition, however, another signature is required in order for the ceasefire to come into full effect.
Over 225,000 people have been killed over the last five decades, with another 7,000,000 losing homes.
The deal includes:
- Farc rebels will lay down their arms within 180 days of the final deal being signed.
- The United Nations will be allowed to monitor the group’s cache of weapons.
- No civilians will be allowed to enter Farc-controlled areas or camps.
- A series of camps to enable transition for Farc rebels.
Farc was formed after the murder of populist politician Jorge Eliécer Gaitán in 1948. Violence broke out and lasted until 1958 and over 300,000 people were killed- the large majority of whom were peasants and labourers in rural areas.
The reaction was the start of a group which later formed into Farc. The group, a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organisation, is classed as a ‘peasant army’ and claims to represent the poorer members of Colombian society against the political elite and wealthy classes.
Strong opposition to what’s been seen as the United States’ impact on natural resources and neo-Imperialism in Colombia is a key-part of the group’s policy.
Farc has attacked fire stations, police stations, and other public services. The group has also kidnapped people and ambushed patrols and military bases.
The deal has been welcomed by leaders and representatives around the world. US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “although hard work remains to be done, the finish line is approaching.”