Colombia’s president visits rebels as they prepare to disarm

February 20, 2017 GMT

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is celebrating the arrival of the last contingent of leftist rebels at United Nations-supervised transition areas where they are preparing to disarm.

Santos shook the hands of rank and file members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia during a Monday visit in the southern province of Putumayo at one of the 26 rural camps. He was accompanied by two top FARC commanders.

The last 300 FARC fighters arrived Saturday at a rebel camp in neighboring Caqueta province, completing a weekslong mobilization that saw some 6,900 guerrillas travel by foot, bus and boat from jungle camps across Colombia.

With the rebels now concentrated, they are expected to begin handing over their weapons in the coming weeks and disarm completely by the end of May.