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Colombia, FARC rebels say they have agreed on new peace deal

Peace activists make their way into downtown Bogota after starting a trek from Cali in a bid to call for a swift resolution to stalled peace agreement with FARC in Bogota, Colombia, October 24, 2016.
Peace activists make their way into downtown Bogota after starting a trek from Cali in a bid to call for a swift resolution to stalled peace agreement with FARC in Bogota, Colombia, October 24, 2016. REUTERS/John Vizcaino

HAVANA/BOGOTA – Colombia’s government and Marxist guerillas said on Saturday they have agreed on a new peace deal to end their 52-year war, six weeks after the original one was narrowly rejected in a referendum for being too lenient on the rebels.

The government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who have been holding talks in Havana for four years, said they had incorporated the proposals of various sectors of society into the new accord.

READ MORE: Colombia rejects FARC peace deal: What the referendum results mean and what’s next

“We have reached a new final accord to end the armed conflict that integrates changes, precisions and proposals suggested by the most diverse sectors of society,” both sides said in a statement.

“We call upon all Colombia and the international community….to back this new accord and its quick implementation so as to leave the tragedy of war in the past,” the statement read.

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“Peace cannot wait anymore.”

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However, former President Alvaro Uribe, who led opposition to the original deal said he asked for the opportunity for his camp and the victims of the conflict to briefly study the new accord before its implementation.

“I have asked the president that the texts they announce in Havana not be definitive,” he said in a statement posted on his Twitter account, adding that his camp might want to make some further tweaks.

President Juan Manuel Santos has staked his legacy on a deal with the country’s biggest rebel group to end the five-decade war that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions.

It is still unclear if Santos will put the accord up for a popular vote again. He is set to speak about the new deal later on Saturday.