In Colombia, the peace talks will be able to open on a positive note. The government and the main dissenting faction of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have agreed to resume a bilateral ceasefire, suspended in May, the parties announced on Saturday.
The truce, whose start date has not been specified, “will aim to reduce confrontation and violence”, said in a press release the emissaries of President Gustavo Petro and “Ivan Mordisco”, head of state- central major of the FARC (EMC). The text specifies that this ceasefire will be of a “temporary” and “national” nature and announces the development of actions “aimed at promoting the participation of civil society in the peace process” and “the establishment of a trust feeling “.
Face-to-face talks since Thursday
The delegates had been meeting since Thursday in the mountains of the Cauca department (southwest), in the first official meeting between the government and the dissident FARC, which profits from drug trafficking and irregular mining. .
The EMC is made up of rebels who refused to sign the historic 2016 peace accord between the government and Marxist guerrillas. The dissidents, estimated at nearly 3,500 men who consider themselves the true heirs of the FARC, have federated in recent months several other “Fronts” operating in various regions of Colombia, mainly in the Amazon, on the Pacific coast and on the Venezuelan border. .
Head of State Gustavo Petro announced a bilateral truce at midnight on December 31 with the country’s five main armed groups, but suspended the agreement with the EMC in May, when the rebels killed four young indigenous people who s opposed their recruitment.
Six decades of armed conflict
The parties announce, in the press release, the imminent start of peace negotiations without however specifying the date or the place. This process will be observed by several countries, whose names have not been specified, as well as by the UN, the Organization of American States (OAS) or the World Council of Churches. The EMC’s chief negotiator, known as Andrey Avendaño, had made a condition of future negotiations a prior ceasefire agreement.
President Petro seeks to end six decades of armed conflict by conducting peace negotiations with all illegal armed groups, including the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas.