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U.N. Mission in Colombia: FARC rebels fully disarmed

By Andrew V. Pestano
The United Nations said the FARC rebel group has fully disarmed. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said FARC's disarmament would create a "peace that allows better education, health, housing and more opportunities for Colombians." Photo courtesy of Revolutionary Army Forces of Colombia
The United Nations said the FARC rebel group has fully disarmed. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said FARC's disarmament would create a "peace that allows better education, health, housing and more opportunities for Colombians." Photo courtesy of Revolutionary Army Forces of Colombia

June 27 (UPI) -- The U.N. Mission in Colombia said the FARC rebel group has completed the disarmament process as part of a peace agreement with the government.

The mission on Monday said it stored FARC weapons in 26 "reincorporation zones" in which FARC members are housed during an effort to transition the militants into civilian life.

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The agency said the stored weapons do not include firearms that will help provide security for the militants during the reincorporation process.

"To date, the mission has stored all the registered FARC individual weapons: 7,132 weapons, except those that ... will serve to provide security to the 26 camps of the FARC until Aug. 1," the U.N. Mission in Colombia said in a statement.

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The agency said it has already destroyed some mines, ammunition, explosives and other unstable weapons. The other weapons will be sealed in containers under the supervision of the United Nations.

The FARC rebel group, officially the Revolutionary Army Forces of Colombia, plans on becoming a fully functioning political party once the disarmament process ends.

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.

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said FARC's disarmament would create a "peace that allows better education, health, housing and more opportunities for Colombians."

"Today, Colombia received the best news in 50 years: FARC leave their weapons and words will be their only form of expression," Manuel Santos said in a statement on Tuesday. "After the abandonment of arms, FARC commit themselves to the truth and reconstruction. There will be justice and guarantees for victims."

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