Pope rejects role in Colombian peace deal

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Pope Francis

By Hawa Lawal

Pope Francis has rejected a request to play a role in the peace deal between the Colombian government and the FARC rebel group.

The Vatican in a statement issued on Wednesday said an invitation was sent to his Holiness in early August to appoint representative to participate in the committee that selected the judges for the talks.

The statement said that though Pope Francis supported the peace process, he however reiterated that he would not get involved in Colombian peace deal.

It said that Pope was praying for the enlightenment of the hearts and minds of those who were called to promote the common good of the Colombian nation.

A deal was announced last week, putting an end to five decades of internal conflict between government forces and the FARC rebels.

The agreement, which needed to be ratified through referendum in Oct. 2, would entail setting up special court to grant amnesties or punish civil war crimes.

The fighting between the FARC and other left-wing rebels and the military, police and right-wing paramilitaries started in Colombia in 1964.

Since then, more than 220,000 lives had been lost, and millions forced to flee parts of the country.

The government claimed that 7.6 million Colombians were direct and indirect victims of the conflict.


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