Colombia declares FARC war over as last container of weapons is removed

Colombia declares FARC war over as last container of weapons is removed

The weapons will be used to make three monuments celebrating the peace accord, agreed past year between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos.

"We are more optimistic because the impossible was fulfilled: departure of last container with FARC arms makes its disarmament definitive", Santos said in a statement Tuesday.

"This is truly a historic moment for the country", he said.

Under the peace accord reached last November, the Farc will be allowed 10 unelected seats in Congress until 2026 and amnesty will be given to many ex-fighters.

A total of 8,112 guns, 1.3 million cartridges, 22 tons of explosives, 3,000 grenades and 1,000 land mines were collected by the United Nations, according to Jean Arnault, the head of the mission in the South American country.

"This puts the country on the path to a new future", said Arnault.

"With this event, the process of verifying the cease-fire, and the deposit of weapons ends (...) and begins, also by the united Nations, the verification of the reincorporation of the Farc into the political, economic and social of the country", said Ivan Marquez, one of the leaders of the Farc and ex-negotiator in the peace talks carried out during four years in Cuba.

Colombia declares FARC war over as last container of weapons is removed
Colombia declares FARC war over as last container of weapons is removed

Arnault said the FARC had been completely disarmed.

Those former rebels who are convicted in special courts of human rights violations will serve short sentences and perform community services, such as removing landmines.

The FARC was formed in the early 1960s by guerrillas affiliated with Colombia's communist party intent on resolving longstanding issues such as land disputes and government neglect of rural areas, issues that still resonate in much of the nation today.

Colombia's FARC rebel group revealed the new name of their political party Tuesday as they prepare to enter formal politics, leaving their armed past behind.

As well as a quarter of a million dead, about 60,000 Colombians remain unaccounted for and seven million have been displaced in the conflict.

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