The FARC rebel group has begun transferring its units to the areas of demobilization agreed upon in Havana with the Colombian government, where they will gather and lay down their arms, Colombia High Commissioner for Peace Sergio Jaramillo said Friday.
The members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC-EP, have started to go to the areas, Jaramillo said, denying declarations from some rebels that they would not move before an amnesty law was passed in Congress.
According to the agreement, the FARC must hand in all of its weapons 180 days after the signing of the peace accord on Sept. 26. “During this time a lot can happen, including the amnesty bill discussed in Congress," Jaramillo said.
The FARC's weapons will be melted down after they are turned in, Jaramillo added.
After the historic cease-fire agreement on June 23 between the FARC and the Colombian government, both sides expanded on the roadmap to peace, announcing details of the 23 temporary "areas of concentration." Also known as “Temporary Hamlet Zones for Normalization," each hamlet consists of eight encampments where FARC troops will be stationed.
No civilians can enter the concentration areas, except for unarmed civilian authorities who can enter the areas to provide health care or to issue identification cards. The FARC can also provide education to its troops to further aid reintegration.
A monitoring and verification mechanism for the concentration areas will be carried out by the members of the Colombian government, the FARC and a U.N. mission. The mechanism gives full access to concentration zones to investigate incidents or violations and publish recommendations and reports on the peace process.