FARC begins disarming in Colombia

UN observes overseeing process 

FARC begins disarming in Colombia

World Bulletin / News Desk

Members of the FARC rebel group on Wednesday began disarming under the guidance of UN observers as the country moves into a new phase of a peace deal signed last year. 

Doubts had been voiced by the government, the UN and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) about whether the March 1 commencement date to begin the disarming process would be met as some of the 26 zones of concentration in Colombia were not ready to receive the 6,900 rebels now committed to the peace agreement. 

But as news came that the process had begin, the government sounded optimistic both sides would stay committed to the deal. 

”It's an inescapable fact that the armed conflict is coming to an end,” Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo told a local radio station. "We are in the initial phase of destroying unstable weaponry.”

President Juan Manuel Santos, who relied the Nobel Peace Prize for working out the peace deal said late Tuesday that “the country has entered an irreversible stage of peace consolidation,” and that “as a government, as a state and as a society we are going to make the fruits of peace a reality”.

The guerrilla group said Tuesday it was committed to following the plan it agreed to with the UN that outlines disarmament procedures. “First there will be a complete register taken of all the weapons in the camps and then we will decide upon moving unstable and explosive weapons. These will be handed over to the UN monitoring and verification body and will remain in their care,” FARC spokesman Ivan Marquez told the media Tuesday. 

A registry of all the weapons in the camps will be performed simultaneously, conforming with agreements signed Dec. 1. 

The FARC will turn in 30 percent of its weapons Wednesday and another 30 percent April 1. The remaining 40 percent will be relinquished June 1. 

All weapons will be registered Wednesday and assigned a number, according to a FARC negotiating team member who was based in Cuba when peace talks between Colombia and the rebels began in 2012, 

“Then the 60 combatants who are to be envoys for peace around Colombia will hand in their weapons,” Jesus Santrich said Tuesday when a list of participants was handed over to the government. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Mart 2017, 12:11