Colombia’s constitutional court has approved a motion to hold a popular referendum on a peace agreement that the government hopes soon to sign with Marxist rebels.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been locked in a civil war with the state for more than half a century, but in the past four years the rebels have engaged in talks with government negotiators. Last month, the two sides signed an historic ceasefire agreement in Havana, paving the way for a formal peace treaty.
Agence France-Presse reports that the court, after more than eight hours of deliberations, on Monday gave its approval for the agreement to be put to a plebiscite, after which the rebels would be expected to disarm and morph into a political party (although a small splinter faction has said it will keep fighting).
“There is a green light for us, the Colombian people, to approve the peace deal with our votes,” President Juan Manuel Santos said.