FARC rebel transforms into a political party a

Colombia’s former FARC rebel group has relaunched as a political party, changing their logo of rifles for a red rose after disarming to end a half-century civil conflict, Al Jazeera report.

“We want to build a new country together with you,” FARC commander Rodrigo Londono told a rally of thousands of supporters in the capital Bogota on Friday.

“A nation in which no one is persecuted or killed for thinking differently,” he continued.

The new party will have a “broad character, a new party for a new Colombia”, the group’s former military commander Pablo Catatumbo said at a press conference. It will be a movement “committed to guarantee social justice, peace, sovereignty and agrarian reform, for the defence of popular interests”, he said.

On Thursday, Londono announced the name of the new party: The Common Alternative Revolutionary Force.

The name controversially retains the same acronym (FARC) and the revolutionary spirit of the Marxist rebel group, which fought a bloody 52-year campaign against Colombia’s government before signing a peace deal last year.

Demobilised and renamed, the party now faces a struggle for political acceptance in a country scarred by decades of attacks and kidnappings.

Al Jazeera’s Alessandro Rampietti, reporting from Bogota, said the group, as a political party, will be fighting an “uphill battle”.

“At least 70 percent of the country has said they will never vote for them,” he said. “At the same time, however, there favourability has been going up.”