World Bulletin / News Desk
The Colombian government and FARC guerrillas on Saturday reached a new peace agreement in a bid to end the longest conflict in the Western hemisphere.
It revises the initial deal signed in September that was rejected Oct. 2 by voters in a plebiscite, the two sides said in a statement that did not disclose details of the agreement.
"I said that the previous agreement was the best but today, humbly, I recognize that this is better because it resolves many criticisms,” chief government negotiator Humberto de la Calle said after signing the deal with the FARC's representative Ivan Marquez.
The new agreement, which is not expected to be put to a referendum but instead directly sent to Congress, came after nine days of intense negotiation in Havana.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said 500 proposals were received from stakeholders to modify the old pact.
These were grouped in 57 topics and 56 were renegotiated in Cuba with FARC.
Santos said negotiations fell through to allow the participation of guerrilla leaders in elections -- an item demanded by opponents of the first deal.
"The reason of all peace processes in the world is for the guerrillas to lay down their arms and to make policy within the legality. This process with the FARC is no exception, nor can it be," Santos said after confirming the new deal.
Meanwhile, Marquez described the agreement as “the victory of Colombia.
“It is a powerful instrument for the democratization of the country and for the realization of the rights of the people", he said, according to The World newspaper.
The peace talks between the government and the FARC began in October 2011 in Cuba to bring an end to the 52-year conflict that has killed an estimated 250,000 victims and displaced more than 5 million others.
AALast Mod: 13 Kasım 2016, 09:56