The Colombian government and FARC guerrillas have reached an agreement on 74 of the 75 points of a transitional justice deal, and are inching closer towards a final peace agreement.
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia leader Timoleon Jimenez, also known as Timochenko, made the announcement Monday in an interview with “Informativo Insurgente” (Insurgente Information). He also added that after over 50 years of armed conflict, the two sides are close to signing a final peace accord.
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The two sides agreed in September to an initial pact on the issue of transitional justice, one of the more difficult and controversial matters being discussed at the peace talks, which have been ongoing in Havana, Cuba, since 2012.
Among some of the more controversial points of the transitional justice deal is one that would grant amnesty to military and insurgent groups who contributed to the violence provided they co-operate with the peace process, and another that would allow the FARC to participate in national politics.
The deal also includes the surrender of weapons by the FARC, establishing a court of transitional justice, and a response to victims of the conflict.
According to the guerrilla leader, after revising the deal, the two sides have reached a final agreement to 74 of the 75 points.
“I personally feel a load of responsibility to Colombia and to the world by this commitment we have made public,” said Jimenez.
The exact details of the deal, as well as the final point which was not agreed to, remain unclear since the peace talks are being discussed behind closed doors.
One of the points the FARC has been pushing for is prosecuting and disabling paramilitary groups in the country, which were technically demobilized in 2003 under a government agreement. However, according to many human rights organization and the FARC, paramilitaries continue to operate in several regions in the country.
The Colombian government and the FARC have been under pressure to reach a final peace agreement soon, with the two sides agreeing to a tentative date of March 23, 2016.