Colombia's Senate backs revised peace deal with FARC rebels

The deal that aims to end 52-year-old armed conflict in Colombia will be taken up by the lower house of the Colombian Congress.

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos signed a new peace accord with Marxist FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londono, known as Timochenko, in Bogota, Colombia on November 24, 2016.

Colombia's Senate has approved a revised peace accord between the government and the FARC rebels, the country's largest guerrilla group. It is aimed at ending a 52-year-old armed conflict.

Colombia's government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a peace accord in September that was rejected in a referendum last month. The two sides finalised a revised deal last week that aims to end the conflict that has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions.

"Long live peace, long live Colombia," shouted Senate president Mauricio Lizcano as he closed the session on Tuesday night. The deal will now be taken up by the lower house of the Colombian Congress.

Members of the Centro Democratico, the right-wing party that has led the opposition to a peace deal, walked out of the Senate in protest before the vote.

The measure was then passed by a vote of 75-0.

President Juan Manuel Santos, who won Nobel Peace Prize in October for this efforts to bring about peace, has said that the revised deal takes into account the objections raised by the opposition.

But his chief rival, ex-president Alvaro Uribe, has rejected the modified deal.

Uribe has insisted, for instance, that FARC leaders should not be allowed to run for office while still serving sentences for atrocities.

He also demands any new accord be passed by referendum.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies