The Colombian government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) will sign a new peace deal on Thursday (24 November), President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed on Tuesday. "We have the unique opportunity to close this painful chapter in our history that has bereaved and afflicted millions of Colombians for half a century," Santos said in a televised address to the nation.

Reports claimed that the revised agreement will be presented before the Congress for consent and will not be approved via a referendum. The modified 310-page document will be signed in Bogota between Farc leader Rodrigo Londono and President Santos, who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the conflict with the rebel group.

The two rival factions had previously reached a deal, which was rejected by Colombian nationals in a referendum held in October.

The opposition had rejected the amended version of the deal and said that clauses to punish rebels for human rights abuse needed to be included in the accord. The opponents, led by former president Alvaro Uribe, also claimed that the latest account was in favour of the rebels, like the earlier one. They said the changes made to the new deal "were superficial".

The peace deal is expected to end the 52-year-old war between Marxist rebels and the government. More than 220,000 people have died in the conflict and millions have been displaced over the years.

The final draft allows rebels to hold public office, although anyone who confesses to having committed a war crime will not be allowed to live in urban areas for five to eight years.

President Juan Manuel Santos
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos speaks during a presidential address in Bogota, Colombia on 22 November 2016 Reuters