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Colombia, FARC Reach Deal on Clearing Land Mines

  • VOA News

Humberto de la Calle, flanked by fellow negotiators for Colombia's government, speaks to reporters in Havana about an agreement with FARC rebels to clear battlefields of explosives, March 7, 2015.

Humberto de la Calle, flanked by fellow negotiators for Colombia's government, speaks to reporters in Havana about an agreement with FARC rebels to clear battlefields of explosives, March 7, 2015.

Colombia and Marxist FARC rebels reached a deal Saturday to clear the country of land mines as part of ongoing peace talks.

Both sides said they would ask a group called Norwegian People's Aid to coordinate the operation.

Humberto de la Calle, a former Colombian vice president and the government's lead negotiator, said Saturday, "Our main objective in these conversations is to put an end to the conflict and avoid future victims in our country. And that's why the demining proposal is a first but giant step toward peace."

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines has ranked Colombia as one of the world's most dangerous countries for hidden explosives.

Talks between Colombia and the rebels have been proceeding in Havana for more than two years. Negotiators have begun to make progress on such matters as political participation for the rebels, land reform and drugs.

FARC's guerilla war against the Colombian government has killed 220,000 people since 1964.

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