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Iran Press TV

Colombia's Senate passes revised peace pact between FARC, government

Iran Press TV

Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:19AM

Colombia's Senate has approved a revised peace accord between the government and the country's biggest rebel group.

The agreement was approved at the Senate by a vote of 75-0 in a Tuesday session boycotted by opposition lawmakers. The deal will now have to go to the lower house of the Colombian parliament for approval.

The new deal was negotiated after an original version was rejected by a razor-thin margin in a referendum on October 2. The Colombian government and the rebel group, the FARC, then returned to the negotiating table in the Cuban capital of Havana to incorporate the demands of the deal's opponents, who had claimed it was too lenient on the rebels.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who won the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to reach the deal despite its rejection, then decided to submit the revised agreement to the Congress for approval rather than call another referendum.

The members of the Centro Democratico, the right-wing party that had led the opposition to the original truce agreement, walked out of the Senate floor prior to the Tuesday night vote in protest. The remaining senators then approved the measure.

"Long live peace, long live Colombia," shouted Senate President Mauricio Lizcano as he adjourned the session.

The chief opponent of the deal, ex-president Alvaro Uribe, has rejected the modified version.

The deal, if approved, would end some 52 years of an armed conflict between the leftist guerrilla organization and the government. The decades-old conflict in the Latin American country has killed at least 260,000 people and displaced seven million people, according to official figures.

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