Colombian peace deal: Historic agreement is signed


President Santos and Timochenko shaking hands after signing the deal
The Colombian government and left-wing Farc rebels have signed a historic agreement that formally brings an end to 52 years of civil war.
The rebel leader Timoleon Jimenez, known as Timochenko, apologised to "all the victims of the conflict" and was greeted by cheers and applause.
He said: "I would like to ask for forgiveness for all the pain that we have caused during this war."
The last of the major Cold War conflicts killed 260,000 people and left six million internally displaced.

President signing peace agreement, 26 September 2016
President Juan Manuel Santos said: "Colombia celebrates, the planet celebrates because there is one less war in the world.

President Santos said this historic moment was a message from Colombia to the world. No more war. "No more war," the crowd chanted in return.
Timochenko said the Farc, which began as the armed wing of the Communist Party in 1964, is leaving armed conflict behind and moving in to peaceful politics.

This was the first time Timochenko addressed the nation live on TV. He promised the Farc would give up its guns, and more than that, he asked for forgiveness. "We are being reborn to launch a new era of reconciliation and of building peace," he said.
"Let us all be prepared to disarm our hearts." The president and Timochenko used a pen made from a bullet to sign the deal.

But after 50 years of war, many Colombians still aren't ready to forgive. As President Santos put it, the hard work of building peace now lies ahead.

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