The Colombian government and the leftist FARC rebel group have agreed to restore peace in the country after five decades of civil war. On October 2, a referendum will be signed on the agreed terms.
“We have reached a final, full and definitive accord… on ending the conflict and building a stable and enduring peace,” read a joint statement issued by both parties.
The peace deal was announced on Wednesday in Cuba after four years of negotiations.
Columbian president Juan Manuel Santos, who was re-elected in 2014, said, “Colombians: the decision is in your hands. Never before have our citizens had within their reach the key to their future.”
“Today I can say – from the bottom of my heart – that I have fulfilled the mandate that you gave me,” he added.
The two sides had signed a ceasefire agreement back in June. FARC guerrillas, who took up arms in 1964, will now turn into a legal political party.
FARC’s main negotiator Ivan Marquez said on Wednesday, “We have won the most beautiful of all battles.”
“The war with arms is over, now begins the debate of ideas,” he added.
The two sides have signed the peace deal after agreeing on six points that includes “justice for victims of the conflict, land reform, political participation for ex-rebels, fighting drug trafficking, disarmament and the implementation and monitoring of the accord,” read the Al Jazeera report.
According to reports, FARC will soon move their 7,000 rebels from their hideouts while their arms will be melted to make peace monuments.
Since 1964, more than 220,000 people have been killed in the conflicts and thousands of people are missing. The government will set up special courts to judge crimes committed during the war.