Colombia’s government and the country’s largest rebel group, the FARC, confirmed Wednesday that they have agreed to end more than half a century of hostilities and will announce a ceasefire and the road map for the guerrillas’ demobilization on Thursday.
The ceremony will be held in Havana, Cuba, where the rebels and the government have been negotiating peace talks since 2012 as reported on Tuesday.
UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, as well as the presidents of five Latin American countries will be present at the signing of the ceasefire, little more than 52 years after the FARC was founded.
On behalf of the warring parties, the ceremony will be attended by President Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC’s leadership.
The ceasefire will also mark the beginning of the demobilization and disarmament of the FARC’s guerrilla organization, which will ultimately become a political movement.
However, the thousands of members of the guerrilla group and more than 24,000 state officials will first have to go through a process of transitional justice that will seek justice for the millions of Colombians who have become a victim of human rights violations committed on a massive scale by both parties.
The armed conflict between the state, the FARC and other illegal armed groups killed more than 265,000 Colombians and displaced approximately 7 million
Nevertheless, the ceasefire with the FARC will in effect end the longest-running armed conflict in the Americas.
Additionally, the accord is a preamble to the signing of a formal peace agreement with the FARC, which will include major political and social reforms, aimed particularly at the countryside where the FARC originates from.