End of 50 Year Colombia War at Hand, as Govt, FARC to Sign Peace Deal on July 20
Any accord reached by the negotiators in Cuba will need to be confirmed by a popular consultation.
The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are set to sign a final peace agreement on July 20th, which could put an end to more than 50 years of conflict that has affected more than six million people.
“I think that by July 20 we will have been able to close negotiations in Havana and from there a new era for the country will come,” Colombian President Jose Manuel Santos stated after a Cabinet meeting Monday.
The government has been in talks in Cuba with the FARC since late 2012. They were preceded by two years of secret talks.
Thus far, the two sides have reached accords on more than half a dozen topics including agrarian reform, political participation of former rebels, curbing production and trafficking of illicit substances, and the rights of victims and transitional justice.
Despite failing to reach a self-imposed deadline for signing a deal in March, Colombia’s president met on Monday with lawmakers and public officials to discuss the creation of regional and local peace councils that would oversee the post-conflict era.
“This peace is for all Colombians, and all Colombians should participate in its consolidation and construction,” Santos told the media on Monday
The Santos administration has said that an end to the conflict could add two percentage points to annual GDP growth and triple the amount of foreign direct investment into Colombia’s economy.
The final peace accord, which must be confirmed by a popular vote is waiting approval from the country’s constitutional court. On Monday, Santos called on the country’s highest court to approve the public vote.
“Hopefully the Constitutional Court will approve the plebiscite soon and from there we will have another very important challenge,” the president said.
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