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FARC Leader Arrives in Colombia for Rebel Peace Conference

Bogota, September 15 (RHC)-- The leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC-EP, Rodrigo Lodoño, better known as Timoleón Jiménez or "Timochenko," has arrived in Colombia to participate in the Rebel National Conference, where the rebel group will approve the peace agreement reached with the government of President Juan Manuel Santos. 

"Each conference has its characteristic.  This by far has a significant importance—everything we are doing now will help us a lot to advance in the pursuit of the objectives we seek," Timochenko said as he arrived to Colombia from Havana, where the peace talks took place. 

Other members of the FARC-EP command also arrived in Colombia, such as Felix Antonio Muñoz, known as "Pastor Alape," and Rodrigo Granda, known as "Ricardo Tellez."  The members of the insurgent group arrived on board an aircraft that belongs to the International Committee of the Red Cross. 
 
The Rebel Conference is the decision-making center for the armed group and studies current events that affect Colombian society.  It also creates political and military plans and strategies, which direct the revolutionary process.  Its decisions are adopted by the whole movement.  There have been nine such conferences from 1965 until 2007. 

This year’s conference will be held between September 17th and 23rd in Llanos del Yari, a town in an Indigenous region of southern Colombia home to several campesino movements. 

The Colombian government and the FARC-EP completed talks on the final peace agreement on August 24, after almost four years of negotiations in Havana.  The agreement will be signed on September 26 during a ceremony to be held in Cartagena de Indias. 

After that, the peace deal will be submitted to a popular referendum that will be held on October 2.  The latest poll conducted by Ipsos-Napoleon Franco for a consortium of media outlets found that 72 percent of the population intends to vote “yes." 

The agreement could end five decades of civil war that has killed over 220,000 people and displaced some 6.3 million others, creating the second-largest population of internally displaced people in the world after Syria. 
 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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