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Colombian government to abide by FARC peace deal

Bogota, Oct 13 (IANS) Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has pledged the government will fulfil the commitments of the peace deal signed with the now-disbanded Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

More importantly, Santos said on Thursday the peace agreement, which was ratified by the country’s Constitutional Court, is binding for the opposition as well, which could come to power in 2018 elections, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We saw how, by unanimous decision, (the court) said in plain language that the peace agreement is the committed word of the Colombian state,” said Santos.

The President has called on the president of the Chamber of Representatives, opposition lawmaker Rodrigo Lara, to recognize that the agreement ratified by the court cannot be modified over the next three administrations.

The opposition opposed the peace agreement, which put an end to some five decades of fighting between the Leftist rebels and state forces.

As part of the deal, the FARC agreed to disarm and transform its movement into a political party.

Future leaders “will not be able to make decisions that violate these accords,” said Santos, adding “the agreements were made to be fulfilled and that’s what I am determined to do.

“I want to reiterate to all Colombians and to the members of the FARC: the agreements will be fulfilled,” said Santos.

Colombia’s Cambio Radical (Radical Change) party has announced it will not back proposed political reforms that are part of the peace agreement.

The party’s main concern appears to be the FARC’s alleged ties to drug trafficking as a means of financing.

The peace deal was signed on November 24 and approved by Congress in December.

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