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Colombia, FARC reach key deal

November 6, 2013

Colombia's government and FARC rebels have reached an agreement on the critical issue of the guerrilla group's future in politics. The move marks a key step towards an end to their decades-long war.

Commander of the FARC-EP leftist guerrillas Ivan Marquez (C) speaks during a press conference on November 6, 2013. Colombia's government and the FARC guerrilla group reached agreement Wednesday on the rebels' participation in politics once they end their near 50-year insurgency, the two sides announced. AFP PHOTO/YAMIL LAGE (Photo credit should read YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images)
Image: Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images

Colombia, FARC reach key deal

The government of Colombia and FARC rebels announced on Wednesday they'd reached an agreement on the rebels' participation in politics, once they end their insurgency. No further details were given.

"We have reached fundamental agreement on the second point of the agenda," they said in a joint statement read out by a Cuban diplomat, Rodolfo Benitez.

The FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, has battled a dozen governments since it began as an agrarian struggle against rural inequality but has been weakened over the past 10 years by a heavy US-backed offensive. The conflict has killed more than 200,000 people since it began almost five decades ago.

So far negotiators in the talks, which are being mediated by Cuba and Norway, have reached an accord on only one other point out of five key issues - how to approach land reform and rural development issues.

Other points that remain to be settled include agreements on drug trafficking, compensation for the victims of the conflict and the end of hostilities.

hc/jr (Reuters, AFP)