Colombia's FARC rebels turned in more than 8,000 weapons: UN

Reuters | Published: 09:25, Aug 16,2017


Colombia's president Juan Manuel Santos greets an observer of the UN as the last container with weapons delivered by the rebels of the FARC is turned in, in La Guajira, Colombia August 15, 2017. — Reuters photo

Colombia's Marxist FARC rebel group handed in more than 8,000 weapons and nearly 1.3 million pieces of ammunition as it demobilised after a peace deal with the government, the United Nations said.

The disarmament process officially concluded on Tuesday as the UN, which was supervising the hand-in, removed the final shipment of weapons from a demobilisation camp in Fonseca, La Guajira province, one of more than two dozen zones where the FARC have been living since the start of the year.

‘Our mission has, up to today, gathered 8,112 arms in these containers and destroyed almost 1.3 million cartridges,’ UN mission chief for Colombia Jean Arnault said at an event to mark the shipment.

That is more weapons than the 7,132 the UN had originally reported in June.

The weapons will be used to make three monuments celebrating the peace accord, agreed last year between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government of president Juan Manuel Santos.

Roughly 7,000 FARC fighters have demobilised under the accord, which allows the group 10 unelected seats in Congress through 2026 and grants amnesty to the majority of ex-fighters. Rebels convicted by special courts of human rights violations will avoid traditional prison sentences, instead performing reparations work such as removing landmines.

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