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Government and rebels extend ceasefire

December 31, 2016 - COLOMBIA

The government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia sign a new, modified peace deal on Nov 25 that extends until Dec 31 the ceasefire incorporated in the original pact.

The re-negotiated deal still has to be ratified in Congress for it to take effect. It incorporates proposals from the opposition and other groups.

The two sides inked a preliminary deal Sep 26 that was rejected by Colombians in an Oct 2 referendum. It was aimed at ending the half century long conflict that has claimed some 200,000 lives. Though it was turned down, Santos was named the winner of the Nobel Peace prize in October for his efforts to bring it about.

The rejection sent the two sides back into negotiations to address some of the voters' concerns about the deal. These included reparations for the victims and justice against individuals who are known to have committed war crimes.

The new agreement withdraws a promise of guaranteed seats for rebels in Congress, a sticking point in the initial deal. Critics maintained that political positions would unfairly reward the combatants.

Government and Farc reach new agreement (BBC 13 Nov 2016)

Colombia Reaches New Peace Deal With Rebels (NYT 12 Nov 2016)

Date written/update: 2016-11-23