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  • Colombia’s President Santos signs the plebiscite decree at the Narino palace in Bogota.

    Colombia’s President Santos signs the plebiscite decree at the Narino palace in Bogota. | Photo: Reuters

Colombians are one step closer of ending a lengthy and bloody war with the new peace agreement reached in Cuba.

The the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP will be formally signed on Sept. 26 in the city of Cartagena de Indias, President Juan Manuel Santos announced Friday night.

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"Perhaps it is the most important announcement I have made in my life: Peace will be signed next September 26 here in Cartagena," Santos told an assembly of the Colombian Confederation of Chambers of Commerce.

The ceremony will involve the participation of the top leader of the FARC-EP, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, known as "Timoshenko," as well as representatives of different countries and international organizations.

Santos noted the chosen date is also a holiday honoring San Pedro Claver, a human rights activist from Cartagena. 

“This peace process has the victims at the center of the solution of this conflict,” Santos said.

Timoshenko also said on Friday that the National Guerrilla Conference, where the FARC-EP will ratify the peace agreement, will be held from Sept. 17 to 23. The rebels will renounce the armed struggle they have been engaged in the last 52 years and approve the group's transformation into a legal political movement.

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On Aug. 24 the negotiating teams of both the Colombian government and the FARC-EP announced the end of peace talks that lasted for almost four years in Havana, Cuba.

The final text of the peace agreement must be approved in a popular referendum on Oct. 2.

The agreement could end Colombia's five decades long civil war that has killed over 220,000 victims and displaced some 6.3 million people, the second largest population of internally displaced peoples in the world after Syria.


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