The Colombian government and the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) on Saturday said they agreed to revised terms for a peace treaty to end a 52-year-long war between the two sides, Reuters reported. The new agreement comes after Colombian voters on October 2 voted against the first iteration of the accords by 50.2%-49.8%.
Representatives of both sides said that they had incorporated proposals put forward by opposition parties, religious leaders and other organisations into the revised treaty. In a statement, the two sides called upon “Colombia and the international community” to support the new accord and “its quick implementation so as to leave the tragedy of war in the past”. “Peace cannot wait anymore,” the statement said.
The new terms, which still assure 10 congressional seats for Farc, also require the group to present a complete inventory of its assets for the purpose of compensating those affected by the civil war. The revised terms also call for the rebel group to provide information about its involvement in the drug trade. However, the new treaty also removes the stipulation calling for foreign magistrates at special peace tribunals, even as it continues to allow foreign observers during the process.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos – who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in negotiating the peace deal – said it was “very important” for the country’s public to “understand that the reason for all peace processes in the world” was to allow rebels to “lay down [their] arms” and participate in politics. “Our process with the Farc is not and cannot be an exception,” he said.
The first iteration of the treaty was opposed by groups led by former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, who said the deal needed “corrections”. As part of the original treaty, the group would have to disarm and move into United Nations disarmament zones within 180 days. Officials had said that Farc would be transformed into a political party, with 10 seats in the 268-member Congress. More than 2,60,000 people on both sides have died in fighting during the war.