UN ends disarmament in Colombia as FARC honors slain rebel

September 23, 2017
Former guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia pay homage to slain rebel leader Jorge Briceno, known as Mono Jojoy, one of their most-prominent and despised military strategists, at his grave in a cemetery in southern Bogota, Colombia, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. Briceno was killed by the Colombian Army on Sep. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

FUNZA, Colombia (AP) — The United Nations has finished deactivating thousands of weapons and munitions that once belonged to demobilized leftist rebels in Colombia.

In a ceremony Friday attended by President Juan Manuel Santos but which was skipped by leaders of the now-disbanded Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the head of the U.N. mission in Colombia, Jean Arnault, said international observers spread across the country had collected a total of 8,994 firearms and more than 38 tons of explosives from the rebels.

A team of 15 German specialists needed six weeks to cut through the metal weapons so they can’t be fired ever again.

“The disarmament process is over,” said Santos after receiving a recently disabled AR-15 assault rifle that he called the “last gun” of the decades-long conflict.

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