Latin America & Caribbean

Colombia Farc rebels 'committed to disarmament'

Handout photo released by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) of a UN observers checking weapons handed by the FARC as part of the peace process in Buenos Aires, Cauca Department, 14 June 2017 Image copyright EPA
Image caption The weapons are to be stored at 26 locations around Colombia

The United Nations Mission in Colombia says it has received 40% of the weapons registered by the Farc rebel group, a figure which falls short of the 60% they should have received by now.

The deadline for the handover of all the 7,000 registered weapons is Tuesday.

The disarmament was agreed in a peace deal the rebels and the government signed in November.

The Farc has said it remains committed to peace.

"We have taken the political decision. We respect the agreement and we will implement it, whatever it takes," said Farc leader Rodrigo LondoƱo, known as Timochenko.

On Tuesday, UN officials and Farc leaders attended a ceremony in south-western Cauca region to mark the handing over of a second batch of weapons.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Thousands of rebels have gathered in 26 transition camps across Colombia

Last week the Farc had handed over 30% of the weapons registered with the UN as part of the peace accord.

The UN announced on Tuesday it was receiving a further 30%.

"The UN Mission is confident that the process of handing over of weapons will carry on in the next few days so we can meet the targets agreed," it said in a statement.

The peace deal was signed after four years of negotiations, held in Cuba.

The Farc will become a political party after giving up 52 years of armed struggle.

But first it will need to hand over thousands of rifles and pistols.

For his efforts to reach peace with the Farc, Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded last year's Nobel Peace Prize.

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