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FARC Delivers List of Thousands of Rebels Ready to Demobilize

Bogota, April 6 (RHC)-- The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, has presented a list of 6,804 members who are ready to demobilize, as part of the agreements reached under the peace deal. 

The High Commissioner for Peace, Sergio Jaramillo, said this was a step forward in the peace process that would allow the start of the certification procedures.  "In addition, the FARC has also made formal delivery of a first list of combatants, which contains a total of 1,541 members. An additional list is expected," said the High Commissioner. 

The former guerrilla members will remain in the demobilization and disarmament zones with the observation of the United Nations and later its transition to civilian life.  "This is great news for the country and we can start working on these lists," said the high commissioner. 

Around 8,000 weapons have been handed over to the UN to be stored in secure containers until they can be turned into three memorial statues.  The rebels are expected to turn in all arms by June 2017. 

In December, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos approved an Amnesty Law as part of the peace deal that would benefit 6,000 FARC members -- 1,200 who are detained along with thousands of social leaders accused of being part of the armed group.  The Colombian government said it will begin the process of reinserting former combatants into society. 

In order to qualify for the Amnesty, the FARC must surrender all its weapons during the course of 180 days since December 1st, and their members must remain in one of the 26 specific zones of the Colombian territory destined for this.  Afterwards, they will complete a judicial process that will determine whether they will serve special sentences for war crimes or receive amnesty. Ex-fighters will also reunite with their families and make amends to victims. 

The FARC signed a peace agreement with the government late last year to end Latin America's longest-running armed conflict, which has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions. 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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