Colombia | Ceasefire suspended
Defence Redefined
Published on 09/10/2023 at 15:48

Colombia’s government and the main dissident group of the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) announced on Sunday that a planned ceasefire and the start of peace talks between the two sides had been postponed for more than a week, amid rising tensions.

The talks, which were expected to begin Sunday in Timbu, on the country’s eastern border, will begin on October 16, representatives of President Gustavo Petros and the FARC dissident group, known as the EMC (Central General Staff), which rejects the peace agreement signed in 2016, stated.

The Petro government’s High Commissioner for Peace, Danilo Rueda, also declared that the mutual ceasefire announced last month will also take effect on October 16. The announcement was met with reproach in Timbu, where thousands had traveled to witness the start of peace talks.

In recent months, there has been a resurgence of operations by this rebel faction against the security forces, with at least 22 dead. The government condemned the actions, with President Petros referring to an attempt by the dissident group to consolidate its control over areas through which drugs are trafficked.

The EMC which, according to official data, had almost 3,500 members around the end of 2022, allied itself in recent months with different “Fronts”, which operate in different areas of Colombia – in the Amazon, on the Pacific coast, on the border with Venezuela – which were once controlled by the former FARC and had practically been abandoned by government forces.

After receiving a warm welcome in Timbu, an area where the rebels have a strong presence, EMC representative, Andrey Aventano, estimated that the road to a peace agreement with the government will be long. Yet they are absolutely convinced that through dialogue and a political solution, they will be able to resolve the various problems, he added.

Social Democrat Mr. Petro, the first left-wing President in Colombia’s history and a former rebel himself, wants to give the dissidents a second chance to lay down their arms after rejecting the historic 2016 deal.

President Petro continues the effort to end the armed conflict that has raged for six decades in Colombia by conducting negotiations with all illegal armed organizations, especially the National Liberation Army (ELN), but also with paramilitaries and gangs.

Source: APA MPA

Also read: Venezuela – Colombia | Restoration of diplomatic relations after three years




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