Colombians to vote on Sunday on peace deal with FARC

October 2, 2016 12:20 pm
A referendum is due to begin shortly in on a peace deal between the country’s main rebel group and the central government.
Media reports said on Sunday that workers were busily setting up voting stations and moving polling material to selected venues on Saturday ahead of the historic vote.
“The activities to distribute the electoral materials are underway with total normality, and the electoral kits have been distributed without any inconvenience,” the head of Colombia’s national registry, Juan Carlos Galindo, had said on Friday.
“I can tell all Colombians that everything is under control, and we are basically ready with the preparations for the plebiscite process on October 2,” Galindo added.
The peace deal, which is widely believed to easily receive final approval at the polls on Sunday, would put an official end to more than half a century of armed conflict between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia () and the Bogota government.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the head of the FARC rebels Timochenko shake hands during the signing of a historic peace agreement in Cartagena, Colombia, September 26, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

It will also pave the way for the FARC to transition into a political party.
Cuba acted as the mediator in the negotiations that culminated in the deal after some four years.
At the formal peace signing ceremony with Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos on September 26, FARC’s top commander, Rodrigo Londono Echeverri, aka Timochenko, appealed to the nation to forgive the rebels for the suffering they had caused.
In a statement on Saturday, the FARC also offered to “pay material reparations to victims” of the conflict.  The conflict has killed more than 220,000 people since it began in 1964.
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