After a peace deal was signed last year, ending the conflict between the Colombian government and FARC rebels, the armed group is now looking to hand over its weapons.

The government says disarming the FARC will effectively end a 53-year civil conflict.
The government says disarming the FARC will effectively end a 53-year civil conflict. (TRT World and Agencies)

The Colombian government is struggling to implement last year's peace deal with the FARC rebels as social and economic programmes designed to reintegrate former fighters into civilian life have been delayed.

The group says it wants more reassurances from the government before it agrees to uphold the May 29 deadline to hand over its weapons.

TRT World's Anelise Borges has more on the difficulties of bringing former rebels into civilian life.

Giving up weapons

The FARC is disarming under UN supervision as part of last year's accord, which the government says will effectively end a 53-year civil conflict. The accord calls for the FARC to be allowed to transform into a political party.

Under the agreement, all the FARC's weapons are supposed to be taken away by the United Nations by the end of this month to be destroyed.

The arms were all supposed to have been handed over by May 1, but the UN said there were delays because some FARC members were late arriving at the agreed demobilisation zones.

Some 7,000 FARC fighters are assembling at 26 such points in Colombia.

Under the accord, the UN is supposed to use the metal from the destroyed FARC weapons to build monuments to peace.

A landmark deal

The government and the FARC, formally known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the country's biggest rebel group, reached a deal after four years of negotiations in the Cuban capital.

Voters rejected it by a narrow margin in a referendum last October.

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leaders then drafted a new version of the accord and the government pushed it through Congress despite resistance from critics.

Opponents said the deal was too lenient on FARC members since it offered some of them reduced penalties for crimes committed during the conflict.

Santos won a Nobel Peace Prize for his peace efforts despite the referendum setback.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies