Colombian government reacts cautiously to cease-fire action

Government says it will "carefully" analyze the situation but the cease-fire is "a good starting point.”

Colombian government reacts cautiously to cease-fire action

World Bulletin / News Desk

The government here on Thursday said the FARC’s declaration of an indefinite cease-fire could lead to an eventual bilateral cease-fire with Colombia as the sides begin to think about scaling back the conflict. 

“We value this gesture of a unilateral and indefinite cease-fire, but we cannot accept the conditions such as these as international proof. We will carefully analyze progress and the compliance of this cease-fire, because it seems to me that it’s a good starting point,” said Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos during a press conference. 

Comparing the declaration made by the FARC on Wednesday to that of a gift of a rose with a stem covered in thorns, President Santos added that the FARC “must complete and compliment with other shows of peace, other gestures to generate trust so that we can continue advancing in the right direction.”

The Revolutionary Acrmed Forces of Colombia, better known as FAR, has never before declared an “indefinite” cease-fire while peace negotiations were still underway.

But while is generally seen as positive, there are certain conditions stipulated in the guerrillas’ communiqué, including that the cessation of hostilities will continue as long as their positions and personnel are not attacked.

The Santos government finds itself in a tricky situation since it will feel pressured to agree to a bilateral cease-fire, a move it has so far flatly refused. From the very beginning of the peace dialogues that begin November 2012 in Havana, the FARC has insisted that the government accept a truce.

But Santos vowed to place the rights of all Colombians at the forefront of any considerations with FARC.

“Of course, neither the president of the republic nor any member of the armed forces can stop following Colombian laws and the Constitution which oblige us to defend the security and freedoms of all Colombians in every corner of the country,” he said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Aralık 2014, 10:20