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Published On: Sat, Sep 3rd, 2016

Peace Deal Between Colombian Government and FARC to be Signed September 26

nsnbc : Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, on Friday, announced that the formal signing of the peace accord between the Colombian State and the FARC will take place on September 26, in Cartagena.

Juan Manuel Santos_Sep 2016_ColombiaSantos. whose administration has held peace talks with the FARC-EP since 2012, said that “this could be the most important announcement of my life. .. Peace will be signed on September 26, here in Cartagena”.

The signing of the accord would formally end 52 years of civil war between the State and Colombia’s largest leftist guerrilla, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP). The FARC will be transformed into a non-militant political party and is, provided the referendum on the peace accord results in a “yes” for peace, be guaranteed a minimum number of seats in both chambers of government for a “startup period”.

The second-largest leftist guerrilla, the National Liberation Army (ELN) announced it would respect the peace accord in FARC controlled areas but stressed its dissatisfaction about the stalled peace talks between the government and the ELN.

The civil war in Colombia has claimed the lives of more that 265,000 Colombians since 1964 and another estimated 45,000 are reported as missing or presumed dead. Some seven million people have been displaced by the civil war that involved and involves left and right-wing guerrilla, the military, rogue elements within the military, criminal cartels, as well as U.S. troops.

The State and the FARC have effectively ceased all armed hostilities. The signing of the 297-page accord on September 26 will be the final protocol before the arduous project of implementing the peace accord and its many provisions can be embarked upon. The FARC-EP will convene their 10th National Guerrilla Conference between 17 and 23 September during which the FARC is expected to dissolve itself.

With this step and the transformation of the FARC into a political party, both the USA and the European Union will remove the FARC from their lists of terrorist organizations. Sadly, the governments of the Netherlands and of France as well as of the USA have not yet determined whether an amnesty should be granted to the Dutch Tanja Nijmeijer who joined the FARC-EP in 2002, and the status of another, female French citizen who is a FARC member.

The question that literally can make the difference between war and peace in Colombia is whether Colombians vote yes or no to the peace agreement in a plebiscite on October 2, one day after the FARC officially begins its 180-day-long demobilization and disarmament process. The FARC has an estimated 17,000 members, including some 7,000 under arms.

CH/L & A/N – nsnbc 03.09.2016

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