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World

FARC Sets Permanent Cease-fire under Colombia Peace Deal

A half-century of political violence is coming to an end

People celebrate in a park as they listen to the announcement from Havana, Cuba, that delegates of Colombia's government and leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia reached a peace accord to end their half-century civil war, in Bogota, Colombia, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. The government's accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia must still be ratified by voters in a plebiscite in order to take effect, photo: AP/Fernando Vergara
1 year ago

HAVANA — The commander of Colombia’s biggest rebel movement said Sunday its fighters will permanently cease hostilities with the government beginning with the first minute of Monday, as a result of their peace accord ending one of the world’s longest-running conflicts.

Rodrigo Londono, leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, made the announcement in Havana, where the two sides negotiated for four years before announcing the peace deal Wednesday.

“Never again will parents be burying their sons and daughters killed in the war,” said Londono, who also known as Timoshenko. “All rivalries and grudges will remain in the past.”

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced on Friday that his military would cease attacks on the FARC beginning Monday.

Colombia is expected to hold a national referendum Oct. 2 to give voters the chance to approve the deal for ending a half-century of political violence that has claimed more than 220,000 lives and driven more than 5 million people from their homes

After the agreement is signed, FARC guerrillas are supposed to begin handing their weapons over to United Nations-sponsored monitors.

ANDREA RODRIGUEZ

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