Colombian peace deal deposited in Bern

FARC chief Rodrigo Londono Echeverri (right) signs the peace deal watched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Keystone

An original version of the Colombia peace agreement has been handed to Bern for safekeeping. The document brings an end to a bloody conflict between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC).

This content was published on September 28, 2016 - 16:11 with agencies

Signed on Monday, the agreement was then handed to Switzerland - as official depository - by the Colombian foreign minister Maria Angela Holguin to Yves Rossier, state secretary of the Swiss foreign ministry. Rossier was present at Monday’s signing ceremony.

Both parties in the peace agreement wanted an original to be stored in Bern in a symbolic bid to enhance its credibility and demonstrate its compliance with international law. Switzerland was chosen as it is also the depository state for the Geneva Conventions and 79 international treaties.

The Swiss foreign ministry stressed that Switzerland has not taken on any responsibility for the implementation of the agreement, by agreeing to store it.

Switzerland has been involved in the peace process in Colombia however. The Swiss government provided experts to help with negotiations between the two sides. Foreign aid to Colombia, which weighed in at CHF28 million ($29 million) last year, will be boosted by another CHF100 million over four years, pending parliamentary approval.

The two opposing sides of the Colombian violence had been in peace talks in Havana, Cuba, since late 2012 to end Latin America's longest war. The bloodshed over the past 50 years has displaced millions and killed an estimated 260,000 people.

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