A historic peace deal between the Colombian government and the Farc rebel group has been ratified, formally ending a civil war in the South American country that has lasted more than 50 years.
The Colombian house of representatives unanimously endorsed the peace deal on Wednesday night (30 November) which had previously been approved unopposed by the country's Senate. It hosted a 13-hour debate that heard supporters and detractors of the deal, Telesur reported.
The key opponent was the former far-right president, Alvaro Uribe, who had called for his supporters to protest the latest deal. He boycotted the vote, as he had earlier threatened, walking out just before it took place.
Uribe says that the peace deal is too lenient on FARC, although there were changes to 56 of the 57 points the "No" side contested.
The previous peace agreement was narrowly defeated by less than half a percentage point in a national referendum on 2 October, leading to the original plan being revised with 50 changes, although the basis of the deal was kept intact.
Before the vote, High Commissioner for Peace Sergio Jaramillo said during the debate on Tuesday (29 November): "To achieve an agreement with the FARC after 50 years of war in an agreement which really gets to the roots of the violence, the conditions that have provoked the violence, this guarantees an end to that violence, and it's nothing less than a miracle."
The country's President, Juan Manuel Santos, who will get the Nobel Peace Prize for his role, said the government will start the process by which thousands of Farc fighters will leave jungle camps and surrender their weapons.
Once the agreement is approved by both chambers of Congress, the United Nations will oversee a 180-day disarmament process. The civil war in Colombia has left more than 260,000 dead, 79,000 disappeared and 30,000 kidnapped since 1958.