500 UN observers to monitor Colombia-FARC deal: Official

July 28, 2016 8:30 am

Colombian President Juan Manuel
Santos (L) and FARC leader Timochenko (R), shake hands in front of Cuban
President Raul Castro (2nd-R) during a meeting in Havana, September 23,
2015. (Photo by AFP)

Some 500 observers with the
() will monitor a demobilization and disarmament deal
between ’s government and FARC rebels, a Colombian official
says.

The deal was reached between the Colombian
government and FARC — the largest guerrilla group in Colombia — in peace
talks in the Cuban capital of Havana on June 23.
Under the deal, the rebels would disarm and declare independence as a political party.
A comprehensive peace accord is expected within weeks.
“Five
hundred international monitors from 15 countries will ensure” the
ceasefire and disarmament deal once the comprehensive agreement is
signed, Columbian Senate President Mauricio Lizcano said after meeting
with Jean Arnault, the UN representative to the peace talks, on
Wednesday.
Fifteen percent of the observers will be European and 85 percent Latin American, Lizcano added.
Reports
say some further issues of disagreement are yet to be settled between
the two sides, including the reintegration of FARC members into civil
and political life and also the venue where the final deal is to be
concluded.

In
this January 4, 2016 photo, two female FARC rebels listen to a
commander speak on the peace negotiations with the Colombian government,
in a hidden camp in Antioquia State, in the northwest Andes of
Colombia. (By AP)

Colombia’s President
Juan Manuel Santos had threatened earlier this month that the FARC
rebels who refuse to demobilize will either be killed or captured by the
Colombian military forces.
“I assure you, they will end up in the grave or in jail,” Santos said.
The
FARC, also known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, has an
estimated 7,000 fighters. It has been at war with the government in
Bogota since 1964.
So far, at least 260,000 people have been
killed in clashes between the two sides and 6.6 million others have been
displaced. Moreover, a further 45,000 people are said to be missing as a
result of the conflict.

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