Colombia's FARC rebels turned in more than 8,000 weapons: U.N.

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BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia’s Marxist FARC rebel group handed in more than 8,000 weapons and nearly 1.3 million pieces of ammunition as it demobilized after a peace deal with the government, the United Nations said.

The disarmament process officially concluded on Tuesday as the UN, which was supervising the hand-in, removed the final shipment of weapons from a demobilization camp in Fonseca, La Guajira province, one of more than two dozen zones where the FARC have been living since the start of the year.

“Our mission has, up to today, gathered 8,112 arms in these containers and destroyed almost 1.3 million cartridges,” UN mission chief for Colombia Jean Arnault said at an event to mark the shipment.

That is more weapons than the 7,132 the UN had originally reported in June.

The weapons will be used to make three monuments celebrating the peace accord, agreed last year between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos.

Roughly 7,000 FARC fighters have demobilized under the accord, which allows the group 10 unelected seats in Congress through 2026 and grants amnesty to the majority of ex-fighters. Rebels convicted by special courts of human rights violations will avoid traditional prison sentences, instead performing reparations work such as removing landmines.

Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by James Dalgleish