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The government and leftist rebels in El Salvador have agreed to a United Nations proposal for land distribution, overcoming the last major obstacle to a definitive conclusion of the 12-year civil war.

Under the plan, approved Friday, plots would be distributed to government soldiers, demobilized rebels, and squatters. The program's cost is estimated to be between $105 million and $143 million.

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The Faribundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) has insisted on resolution of the land issue before fully disbanding the rebel army. But FMLN commander Schafik Handal declined to say whether the former rebels would meet an Oct. 31 deadline for demobilization. Minister of the Presidency Oscar Santamaria said the FMLN no longer had a pretext to delay full demobilization.

The peace accords, signed Jan. 1, also provide for judicial and electoral reform, a purge and reduction in the armed forces, human rights guarantees, and the FMLN's legalization as a political party.

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