Colombia’s chief government negotiator on Tuesday called for the immediate implementation of a revised peace deal with the FARC rebel group, six weeks after the original pact was rejected in a referendum.
The new accord between the government and the FARC was reached on Saturday following six weeks of resumed negotiations in Havana in the aftermath of the rejected referendum on October 2.
The text of the revised deal was published on Monday.
Former president Alvaro Uribe had urged the government to keep the door open for a second round of revisions of the deal initially signed on September 26.
But, no second round of negotiations with the hard-line Uribe will take place, Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo said first in an interview with newspaper El Tiempo published Tuesday.
Keeping the door open for modifications would be condemning it to fail.
Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo
Government negotiator Humberto de la Calle later on Tuesday said that the new deal had addressed more than 80% of the opposition’s concerns, is final and needed to be implemented “now.”
I think that most Colombians show support, satisfaction for, and above all, the desire to implement it now. This is the final agreement, so it is called, and we cannot waste time. We must begin implementation.
Chief negotiator Humberto de la Calle
De la Calle believes that the majority of the population is supportive of, and satisfied with the new agreement, and above all would like to see its immediate implementation.
Government negotiators plan to sit down on Tuesday or Wednesday with representatives of the opposition to in detail discuss the changes incorporated in the new deal.
Citizens on Twitter massively told Uribe and his allies on Sunday already to “#stopfuckingabout.”
Nevertheless, support for the new deal is far from unanimous. In fact, it continues to divide Colombian citizens, especially FARC victims, a minority among the 8 million victims left by the armed conflict with multiple victimizers.
But, the government is in a hurry.
If Congress reportedly doesn’t begin the ratification process on November 23, its implementation will not be secured before Congress goes on recess in December and the suspended FARC demobilization would not be able to resume until February.
With guerrilla desertions already reported by the FARC, such a delay would increase the risk of guerrillas deserting the organization to join other groups or form new ones, effectively undoing the group’s demobilization and disarmament.