Colombian rebels prolong cease-fire 'indefinitely'

FARC guerrillas announce extension of their cease-fire amid accusations government continues to bomb their positions

Colombian rebels prolong cease-fire 'indefinitely'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Carlos Antonio Lozada, a FARC rebel spokesman, announced Thursday in a press conference in Havana, Cuba, that the guerrilla group would extend its unilateral cease-fire indefinitely.

The cease-fire, which came into effect on July 20, is expected to last until November 20 when President Juan Manuel Santos says he will review the progress of the peace process between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and his government which have been ongoing since November 2012.

In spite of Santos’ claims that bombing raids on FARC rebel installations and infrastructure have been scaled back, the FARC claims that their forces are under continual attack.

"We demand a similar attitude from the government so that we can work together towards scaling down the conflict to be able to arrive at a lasting bilateral cease-fire which all of Colombia is calling out for," said Lozada in the press conference.

The rebel group has suggested in various declarations that the Colombian army has continued its bombing raids on guerrilla installations despite Santos’ claims.

"As you can see, our concerns are many and there [are] still complex topics which need to be broached at the negotiating table for us to reach an appropriate political climate. For this reason we have decided to continue with our cease-fire in spite of military operations continuing in various regions of Colombia," said Lozano.

The long-running dialogue between FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government’s negotiating team has come under criticism of late but they have addressed the issues of agrarian reform, political participation and illicit drugs.

For over a year now the two sides have been locked in discussions about justice for victims of the conflict and transitional justice.

The guerrilla group reiterated its desire to work towards an urgent descaling of the armed conflict and asked the government to respond in kind to gestures made by their forces. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Ağustos 2015, 09:05