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News > Latin America

Facts about FARC 'Concentration Areas' and Colombia Peace Talks

  • After decades of conflict the FARC-EP and the Colombian government are taking important steps towards peace.

    After decades of conflict the FARC-EP and the Colombian government are taking important steps towards peace. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 June 2016

Once a final peace accord is signed with the Colombian government, FARC troops will move into "areas of concentration."

After the historic cease-fire agreement June 23 between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the Colombian government, both sides expanded on the roadmap to peace, announcing details of the 23 temporary "areas of concentration," that will be set up for FARC troops once a final peace accord is signed.

7 Key Points: What Comes After the Cease-Fire in Colombia?

Also known as “Temporary Hamlet Zones for Normalization," each hamlet will consist of eight encampments where FARC troops will be stationed.

In a press conference on Friday, FARC representatives said each concentration area is expected to be small and accessible by road or river. FARC and state forces will be prohibited from crossing a 1-kilometer buffer zone and military aircraft will not be able to fly less than 5,000 feet above the areas. Each area may be expanded or reduced if necessary through mutual agreement.

Map of FARC Concentration Areas

The FARC will be responsible for troops in the areas which cannot be used “for demonstrations of political character.” FARC troops have agreed to only leave the area unarmed and out of uniform.

No civilians can enter the concentration areas, except for unarmed civilian authorities who can enter the areas to perform duties such as health care or to issue identification cards. The FARC can also provide education to its troops to further aid reintegration.

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Sixty designated troop members will be permitted to travel anywhere in Colombia for work related to the peace accord. FARC troops will be given protection by international monitors while traveling.

A monitoring and verification mechanism of the concentration areas will be carried out by the members of the Colombian government, the FARC and a U.N. mission made up of the international community. The mechanism will be given full access to concentration zones to investigate incidents or violations and publish recommendations and reports on the peace process.

Sixty days after the signing of a final peace deal, the FARC must turn over their weapons, grenades and munitions to the U.N. mission.

The FARC must hand in all of its individual weapons to the U.N. mission by 180 days after the signing of the accord.

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