The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia is kicking off its last conference as a rebel army as it looks to transition into a political movement following the signing of a peace accord.

The FARC's top leader addressed about 500 mostly unarmed and semi-uniformed guerrillas who had arrived from all parts of Colombia to attend the meeting that started early Saturday.

The bearded leader known by his alias Timochenko said that over the next week commanders will ratify a peace accord reached with the government last month and debate political strategy going forward.

Timochenko and President Juan Manuel Santos will sign the accord next week in the city of Cartagena. After that Colombians will be asked in an Oct. 2 referendum to ratify or reject the deal.