Mediators Norway and Cuba congratulated the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia on Tuesday after state representatives and members of the guerrilla group signed a historic agreement Tuesday regarding victims rights and justice from the over 50 years of civil war in the country.
“We thank the victims, their testimonies, and his proposal, without which we would not have been able to create this agreement,” said the spokespeople from Cuba and Norway, the two guarantor nations at the peace talks in Havana.
The deal comes after the peace delegation heard first hand testimony from several victims of the armed conflict earlier this year and received proposals directly from the victims about how to make reparations and move forward in the peace talks.
The two sides have been engaged in peace talks since 2012, in Havana, Cuba trying to end the violence that has seen over 220,000 people killed and thousands more displaced or disappeared. The historic agreement on victims rights is a major step in the peace process, and the first time any peace agreement has included the victims in the negotiation process.
These proposals were debated and included in the latest agreement, the fifth point in the current peace negotiations.
The latest agreement will ensure that victims “rights to truth, justice, reparation and no repetition (of violence) are secured,” added the international guarantors.
The agreement also included the creation of a judicial body, which is an “integrated system” between the two sides that will investigate human rights violations, create judicial mechanisms for offenders, create mechanisms to search for missing persons, and repair the damages caused to people and territories because of the armed conflict, said the international observers.
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This will also include distinct judicial systems for women, who have suffered various and distinct types of abuse over the years.
The judicial system will also be focused on the “humblest and most vulnerable” victims who have suffered over the years, including indigenous communities, Afro-Colombian communities, labor unions, small farming communities and political movements.
Before the FARC and the government publicly signed the final deal, the international observers reminded the public that the deal's success “will depend also on the acceptance of society... between all Colombian men and women.”
The comment comes after the government declared that the final peace deal must go through a plebiscite and be put to a vote by the Colombian people before its mechanisms will be implemented.
The two sides will continue with negotiations and try to reach a final peace deal by March of 2016, what could include the two sides finally laying down their arms and the reintegration of the guerrillas into society and politics.
WATCH: Colombia: Historic Agreement on Victims' Reparations to be Released