UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon [official profile] on Thursday expressed hope [statement] that a new peace deal [text, PDF, Spanish] between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government would help bring an end to a decades-old violent conflict in the nation. An official UN spokesman said:
The Secretary-General hopes that Colombians will come together at this time to move the peace process forward. He reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to provide all necessary support, both through the United Nations Mission in Colombia and through the relevant UN agencies, funds and programs.
The new deal, signed on Thursday, is a response to a more than fifty year conflict between FARC and the Colombia government that has claimed the lives of over 220,000 people [CNN report]. In October, 50.2 percent Colombia voters rejected [JURIST report] an earlier peace deal attempt. The prior deal had been crafted after four years of negotiations, and was signed [JURIST report] in September. In June the Colombian government and FARC signed [JURIST report] a ceasefire agreement. In January the UN Security Council unanimously approved [JURIST report] a resolution authorizing the creation of a political peace mission in Colombia to monitor the disarmament between the Colombian government and FARC rebels.