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New Colombian soldiers head to former FARC strongholds

Friday, February 17, 2017 - 01:12

A contingent of 1,200 soldiers have graduated from military training in Colombia. And their first mission comes on the heels of the peace deal with FARC. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Meet Colombia's newest soldiers. This squadron of 1,200 graduated Friday, in a patriotic ceremony in Nilo outside Bogota. Military commander Albert Mejia says their first mission will be in the areas formerly held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MILITARY COMMANDER, ALBERTO MEJIA, SAYING: "These men will go to these regions not only to occupy the spaces that have been left behind by terrorism, but also to guarantee two words, which from today onwards should remain tattooed on your hearts: the stabilization of Colombia." Colombia's long war with FARC rebels ended last year with a peace deal. Under the terms, FARC fighters now are laying down their weapons, creating a power vacuum that these new soldiers will occupy. And as they march off on their new mission, they'll be carrying hopes of a nation ready for peace after 52 years of war.

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New Colombian soldiers head to former FARC strongholds

Friday, February 17, 2017 - 01:12