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Colombia's Santos visits disarmament zone, signs post-conflict infrastructure project

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 01:04

Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, visits a rebel disarmament zone and sets in motion a nationwide infrastructure project to connect the areas worst hit by the 52-year conflict. Rough cut (no reporter narration)

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(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, visited a FARC rebel disarmament zone in the Putumayo department on Monday (February 20), whilst setting in motion a nationwide infrastructure project to connect the areas worst hit by the 52-year conflict as part of an adaptation process for former rebels. Santos arrived at the Carmelita transition zone on Monday afternoon accompanied by members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)'s highest secretariat, Ivan Marquez as well as soldiers and US officials. His visit was set to mark the arrival of all FARC members to camps throughout the country as the transition to peace steps up. The 438 FARC members concentrated at the Carmelita camp form part of some 6,000 former rebel fighters of the FARC in rural transition zones throughout the country, where they will embark on a U.N. monitored process of disarmament before rejoining civil society. Despite the initiation of widespread projects, several delays have marred the central drive towards disarmament since the peace accord was signed late last year. An estimated 20 percent of the transition zones remain unfinished, where initially all FARC fighters were programmed to be in the zones by December 31. The FARC itself will transition into a political party legally recognised by the state after over five decades of guerrilla warfare in a conflict which has killed 200,000 people and displaced millions.

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Colombia's Santos visits disarmament zone, signs post-conflict infrastructure project

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 01:04