June 8 (UPI) -- Colombia's FARC rebel group said militants have so far handed over 30 percent of firearms after the extension of a disarmament agreement.
The rebel group, officially the Revolutionary Army Forces of Colombia, said militants handed over 30 percent of weapons on Wednesday to the United Nations and will hand over another 30 percent next week. The militants are expected to relinquish the remaining 40 percent on June 20 -- the disarmament deadline as part of a peace agreement with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos' administration.
"Well, as of today, FARC is in compliance with our word," the group said in a statement. "We will never again use violence. Our only weapon will be words. We promise and we will fulfill it, without complaints."
More than 220,000 people have died and 5 million have been internally displaced due to the Colombian conflict since the FARC's Marxist-inspired founding in 1964. The militant rebel group has been involved in drug trafficking, kidnapping and other illicit activity to fund its insurgency.
The deadline extension was granted after FARC leaders argued they could not meet the original deadline because of delays affecting special camps that were set up to house rebels who will attempt to transition into civilian life.
Santos said the rebels would be allowed to stay in those camps to reincorporate into society until August 1.
The FARC rebel group plans on becoming a fully functioning political party once the disarmament process ends.