FARC rebels’ disarmament on track, according to UN

World Today

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia are handing over their last weapons. By the end of the week, one of the world’s longest running insurgencies will be disarmed.

CGTN’s Toby Muse reports.
Follow Toby Muse on Twitter @tobymuse

“We are going to store these arms away that we have registered by members of the FARC,” a United Nations worker said.

FARC is delivering its machine guns, grenades and RPGs to the United Nations, as called for in their historic peace agreement signed with the government last fall. The group, Latin America’s largest rebel army, began to disarm in early June. The final 40-percent of its weapons are to be stored in U.N. containers within the next five days.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos congratulated both the government and the guerrillas.

“Even a few years ago, this was thought to be impossible but it was thanks to the hard work of many people.”

FARC’s weapons will be melted down to make monuments to peace — honoring the civil war’s more than 200,000 victims. Statues will be placed at the U.N. headquarters in New York, Colombia and in Havana, Cuba, where peace talks were held.

FARC said its disarmament shows its commitment to abandoning violence and becoming a political party.

“We plan that in the first half of August, we will have the founding congress of our political party, to say up to here was the FARC as guerrillas and now it磗 the FARC as a party,” Marco Leon Calarca, FARC negotiator said.

The guerrillas said they have not given up their dream of taking power in Colombia – only that they now won’t use weapons to do it.

“We are changing from fighting with violence to fighting with ideas,” Calarca added.