Colombian Voters Reject Farc Peace Deal

Bogota, – Voters in Colombia have rejected a landmark peace deal with Farc rebels in a shock referendum result, with 50.24% voting against it.

The deal was signed last week by President Juan Manuel Santos and Farc leader Timoleon Jimenez after nearly four years of negotiations, but it needed to be ratified by Colombians in order to come into force. Addressing the nation, President Santos said he accepted the result but would continue working to achieve peace, the (BBC) reported.

He said the current ceasefire remained in place and that he had ordered negotiators to travel to Cuba to consult Farc leaders on the next move. Meanwhile the Farc leader, known as Timochenko, said the group remained committed to securing an end to the war.

The rebels earlier agreed to lay down their weapons after 52 years of conflict to join the political process. The agreement was rejected with 50.2% of voters against it and 49.8% in favour – a difference of less than 63,000 votes out of 13 million ballots. The surprise result means the peace process is now shrouded by uncertainty.

Source: Qatar News Agency