May 13, 2017 - 10:30 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A group of Colombian FARC rebels on Friday, May 12 became the first to formally complete a disarmament process under a peace accord designed to end a half-century-old conflict, United Nations monitors said, according to AFP.
"A first group of 12 members of the FARC received today from the UN mission a certificate of completion of individual disarmament, which allows them to formally begin their reintegration into civilian life," the UN said in a statement.
"With this event, a continuous process begins to certify the FARC members who are making the transition to civilian life after laying down their arms."
The FARC is disarming under UN supervision as part of last year's accord, which the government says will effectively end a 53-year civil conflict. The accord calls for the FARC to be allowed to transform into a political party.
Under the agreement, all the FARC's weapons are supposed to be taken away by the United Nations by the end of this month to be destroyed.
The arms were all supposed to have been handed over by May 1, but the UN said there were delays because some FARC members were late arriving at the agreed demobilization zones.
Some 7,000 FARC fighters are assembling at 26 such points in Colombia.
Under the accord, the UN is supposed to use the metal from the destroyed FARC weapons to build monuments to peace.
The government and the FARC, formally known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the country's biggest rebel group, reached a deal after four years of negotiations in the Cuban capital.
Voters rejected it by a narrow margin in a referendum last October.
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leaders then drafted a new version of the accord and the government pushed it through Congress despite resistance from critics.