Colombia’s Road to Peace Finally Here!
The Colombian government and the left wing rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) finally signed a peace accord, ending the five decades of civil war in the Latin country.
The peace pact was signed by the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the rebel leader Timoleon Jimenez or popularly known as Timochenko.
The? BBC reported the rebel leader Timoleon Jimenez, popularly known as Timochenko, apologized to all the victims of the conflict by saying, “I would like to ask for forgiveness for all the pain that we have caused during this war.”
The heartwarming apology from the ex-rebel brought applause from the crowd.
To show their commitment to the peace pact, President Santos and Timochenko used a pen made from a bullet to sign the deal to signify Colombia’s transition from a country of bullets into a country of “education and future.”
In response to Timochenko’s commitment to peace, President Santos said, “We will achieve any goal, overcome any hurdle and turn our nation into a country we’ve always dreamed of – a country in peace.”
The historic signing of the peace deal was attended by around 2,500 foreign and local guests in the colonial city of Cartagena.
US, UN Welcome Signing of Peace Accord
To symbolize peace, guests and witnesses wore white during the ceremony. UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, US Secretary of State John Kerry, and leaders of Latin American countries were among those present.
Secretary Kerry said, “This step that your country is going to take is a giant step.”
Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the signing of the peace deal as well. He said, “Colombians are bidding farewell to decades of flames and sending up a bright flare of hope that illuminates the world.”
Background of the War
FARC traces its origins to a previous civil war known as La Violencia. The conflict started in 1946 and escalated after the assassination of a former presidential candidate in 1948.
The violence worsened in the 1990s and early 2000s, killing more than 200,000 civilians and displacing around 6 million people.