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Colombia's Duque vows to arrest re-armed rebels

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:34s - Published
Colombia's Duque vows to arrest re-armed rebels

Colombia's Duque vows to arrest re-armed rebels

Colombian President Ivan Duque lambasted a new call to arms by former rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), saying the country 'takes no threats'.

Eve Johnson reports.

Former leaders of Colombia's FARC rebel group have issued a new call to arms. But the country's president Ivan Duque is not taking it sitting down, sending out a stern warning on Thursday (August 29).

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT, IVAN DUQUE, SAYING: "Colombia takes no threats.

Not of any nature.

Least of all from drug traffickers.

In a video posted to YouTube overnight, a former FARC rebel commander said the group was taking up arms again three years after it disbanded.

Going by the alias Ivan Marquez, the former commander said FARC was returning because a 2016 peace deal with the Colombian government has failed.

A deal that he helped negotiate.

(SOUNDBITE) FORMER FARC COMMANDER Ivan Marquez SAYING (TRANSLATED): "When we signed the agreement of Havana, we did it with the conviction that it was possible to change the lives of the humble and the dispossessed but the state has not fulfilled even the most important of the obligations - that is to guarantee the life of its citizens and particularly to prevent their murder for political reasons." The peace deal put an end to 50 years of fighting But it is also under a huge amount of pressure Activists trying to help implement the accord - and former rebels - have been murdered by the hundreds.

Meanwhile, Duque is offering a reward of 3 billion pesos (about $863,000 dollars) for information leading to the capture of anyone who appeared in the video.

Many FARC rebels have put down their weapons and are trying to make a life in society.

But some stayed, or went back.

They're believed to be based in neighboring Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro last month said former FARC commanders were welcome in his country.

ENDS




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