President Juan Manuel Santos, left, and FARC official Timoleon Jimenez mark a ceasefire in June.
President Juan Manuel Santos, left, and FARC official Timoleon Jimenez mark a ceasefire in June.


Havana (CNN)Negotiators seeking to end the five-decades-old bloody insurgency in Colombia, one of the world’s longest-running conflicts, said Wednesday in Havana that they had reached a final peace deal.

For nearly four years, representatives from the Colombian government and FARC rebel group have struggled to reach a deal that would not only end the fighting but also address issues of land reform, repatriation for the families of victims and trying those suspected of human rights abuses.

The landmark deal will still need to be approved by a majority of Colombians in a referendum set for October 2.

A ceasefire agreement was signed in June.

“The best way to end the war is sitting down to discuss the peace,” said Colombia’s chief negotiator Humberto de la Calle. “The war is over.”

“I think we have won the most beautiful battle: the peace,” said FARC commander Luciano Marín Arango, who is known by his alias Iván Márquez.

Inspired by the Cuban revolution, the Marxist guerrilla force FARC, the Spanish acronym for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, had originally sought to redistribute wealth at the point of a gun in the South American country.

But in recent years critics allege the FARC’s estimated 7,000 soldiers had become a narco-terrorist force, reaping millions of dollars from cocaine shipments to the United States.

Billions of dollars in US counterinsurgency aid helped the government turn the tide against the group, which suffered as top commanders were killed and thousands of foot soldiers abandoned the insurgency.

The war between the group and and Colombian government has left an estimated 220,000 dead. About 5 million people have been displaced, according to some estimates.

Under the agreement, FARC rank and file soldiers will lay down their heavy weapons, leave their jungle camps and slowly reincorporate to Colombian society, with the help of government training programs.

The leaders of FARC has said they intend to start a political party to attempt to win seats in Colombia’s Congress.

A tweet the FARC sent Wednesday apparently showed the first effort to begin to redefine the rebel group. A FARC account posted a photo of a guerrilla couple chatting as the armed male fighter touches the female’s leg flirtatiously.

“You… Me… Fighting foreign domination and creating the New Colombia… Think about it,” the tweet read.

As reported by CNN