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article imageColombia's FARC: from war to peace and back again

By AFP     Aug 29, 2019 in World

Senior commanders of dissolved Colombian rebel group FARC announced they were resuming their armed struggle Thursday.

Here are key dates since the guerrilla group's 2016 peace accord with the Bogota government:

- Historic peace accord -

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which would become the South American country's largest guerrilla group, emerges in 1964.

On June 23, 2016, leaders sign a historic ceasefire agreement with the government, capping four years of negotiations in Cuba. It comes into effect on August 29.

On September 26, FARC and the government sign a full peace accord, which is narrowly rejected in an October 3 referendum.

On October 7 President Juan Manuel Santos wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the conflict.

On November 24, the government and the FARC draw up a new deal which is pushed through Congress.

The accord controversially grants an amnesty to FARC fighters for less serious offences if they admit to their crimes. The amnesty will not cover the worst atrocities, such as massacres, torture and rape, however. Those responsible for such crimes will face up to 20 years in prison, with lighter sentences if they confess.

- Ex-rebels enter politics -

On June 27, 2017, FARC declares that disarmament of its 7,000 guerrillas is complete.

On August 31, the group renames itself the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force and becomes a political party.

In Spanish the new name, Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Comun, has the same acronym as the former rebel force's title, so it can continue to be referred to as the FARC.

On November 1, FARC leader Rodrigo "Timochenko" Londono says he will stand in the country's 2018 presidential election, though heart surgery forces him to withdraw in March.

- New president -

On June 17, 2018, Conservative president-elect Ivan Duque threatens to rewrite the peace agreement, which he considers too lenient toward former rebels.

On July 13 Timochenko apologizes to victims of FARC abductions, during the first trials of guerrilla chiefs under the peace deal.

The ex-guerrillas are being prosecuted for 6,162 abductions between 1993 and 2012, including that of Franco-Colombian Ingrid Betancourt.

- Towards new armed struggle -

On May 31, 2019 Colombia's Supreme Court orders the release of former FARC guerrilla leader Jesus Santrich, wanted by the United States on drugs charges.

On June 1, Colombia's top court buries Duque's plan to revise the peace deal.

On June 11, Santrich defies government opposition to take up a seat in the Senate -- one of 10 provided for FARC under the peace deal.

On July 12 Bogota offers a reward of nearly $1 million for the capture of Santrich, who went underground on June 30, missing a hearing. The United States is seeking to have him extradited.

On August 29 former FARC number two, Ivan Marquez, a fugitive for more than a year, announces in a video posted on YouTube he is taking up arms again along with other guerrillas, including Santrich.

He accuses the government of betraying the accord.

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