14:31 GMT21 January 2021
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    The Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations, Ernesto Samper, has turned down the renewal of his mandate.

    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – The Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (USAN, or UNASUR), Ernesto Samper, has turned down the renewal of his mandate, choosing to go back to Colombia in order to take part in the peace process in his home country.

    "After fighting tirelessly during this time for the dream of South American integration, I go back to my country to continue fighting for another dream, that of peace, which is that of all Colombians," Samper said as quoted by El Comercio on Friday.

    Samper agreed to remain in the post of UNASUR Secretary General until January 31, 2017.

    On Wednesday, the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group officially announced the successful conclusion of negotiations on a final peace agreement.

    The Colombian government and FARC have been engaged in peace talks since November 2012. During an official ceremony held in Havana on June 23, the Colombian government and the FARC group signed a ceasefire deal pledging to complete the process of laying down arms within 180 days, but had been negotiating a number of technical details.

    FARC was formed in 1964 as the military wing of Colombia's Communist Party.

    Related:

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    Colombian Authorities, FARC Guerrillas Finalize Peace Agreements
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    Some FARC Guerrillas Refuse to Demobilize, Pledge to Continue Fighting
    Tags:
    peace treaty, UNASUR, FARC, Colombia
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