Last 300 FARC rebels to lay down arms

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Members of the 51st Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) patrol in the remote mountains of Colombia, August 16, 2016. Picture taken August 16, 2016. Photo By John Vizcaino Reuters

Members of the 51st Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) patrol in the remote mountains of Colombia, August 16, 2016. Picture taken August 16, 2016. Photo By John Vizcaino Reuters

The last 300 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, also known as FARC, began disarming on Sunday in a transition zone arranged as part of a peace agreement last year.

The Colombian government and FARC agreed in November to end a conflict that had stretched on for nearly 52 years and killed more than 200,000 people.

About 7,000 members of the FARC, Colombia’s largest rebel group, began moving this week from jungle camps toward 26 safe zones established as part of the peace agreement.

FARC was formed in 1964 as an armed offshoot of the Communist Party by farmers dissatisfied with issues of inequality in the country. The group followed a Marxist-Leninist doctrine.

The United Nations credited the group’s leadership for backing the camps that would allow FARC members to transition to civilian life, also stating that the move would reduce the risk of new incidents of armed contact.

READ NEXT: Columbia and FARC sign amended peace deal

Voters in Colombia narrowly rejected a referendum in October to forge an peace deal with FARC they said did not go far enough to hold the rebel group accountable after years of fighting. But a revised version allowed President Juan Manuel Santos to forge a peace agreement with the rebels a month later, ending more than a half-century of conflict that had displaced millions of people.

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