FUNZA, Colombia — The United Nations has finished deactivating thousands of weapons and munitions that once belonged to demobilized leftist rebels in Colombia.

In a ceremony Friday attended by President Juan Manuel Santos but which was skipped by leaders of the now-disbanded Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the head of the U.N. mission in Colombia, Jean Arnault, said international observers spread across the country had collected a total of 8,994 firearms and more than 38 tons of explosives from the rebels.

A team of 15 German specialists needed six weeks to cut through the metal weapons so they can't be fired ever again.

"The disarmament process is over," said Santos after receiving a recently disabled AR-15 assault rifle that he called the "last gun" of the decades-long conflict.