Colombia and FARC rebels sign revised peace deal

Colombia has signed a revised peace agreement with FARC rebel groups aimed at ending half a century of war that has killed more than 220,000 and internally displaced millions. The agreement has been reached less than two months after a plebiscite narrowly rejected the original agreement. The talks to reach the deal were taking place in Havana (Cuba) for the past four years. The new agreement aims to satisfy all those objections made by millions of Colombians who rejected the original deal in the referendum. President Juan Manuel Santos, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last month for his efforts to end the war. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia’s largest rebel group was founded in 1964 as the armed wing of the Communist Party. It began as a rebellion fighting rural poverty. Inspired by the Cuban revolutions of 1950s, the FARC rebels began to demand more rights and control over the land.

Unlike the previous deals, the new deal will not be subjected to referendums and will require the approval of Congress over the next few weeks. Within 90 days of approval, FARC rebels will begin to lay down their arms and within five months they are required to completely surrender all weapons to the UN. Also, under the new deal, the rebels have to declare their assets and the money will be used for reparation payments to victims of the conflict. However, the new agreement has not included jail terms and a ban on holding public office. The peace agreement would not form a part of the Colombia’s constitution.