Colombian government to open talks with FARC
Colombia’s main leftist rebel group, FARC, has agreed to the start of talks to end a half-century-old conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives, the Colombian president has said.
President Juan Manuel Santos announced on Tuesday that his government will open peace talks in Oslo next month with the FARC.
The talks “will begin in Oslo in the first half of October” before moving to Havana afterwards, Santos said, adding that the talks “will be measured in months, not years”.
He made the announcement at a press conference in Havana called by the Cuban government on Tuesday morning.
Santos said the agreement does not include a cease-fire and does not include the granting of a safe haven, as occurred in the last peace talks, which ended in disaster in 2002.
Santos announced last week that preliminary talks to end the confrontation with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, already have been held.
At least some of the formal discussions are expected to take place in Cuba, whose communist government has mediated in past peace efforts and maintains surprisingly good relations with Colombia’s conservative government.
The sides have agreed to open talks in Oslo, Norway, with Havana serving as the main seat of the peace process, according to a report by RCN Radio of Colombia, which is run by a cousin of Colombia’s president and has published what it says is the text of the preliminary agreement between Santos’ government and the FARC.
Colombia’s Farc rebel group says it will request a ceasefire once peace negotiations begin with the government.
High-ranking commander Mauricio Jaramillo told reporters in the Cuban capital, Havana, that the group wanted to disarm if conditions were right.
The truce demand could be a sticking point as the government has insisted military operations against the rebels will continue despite the talks.
They are scheduled to open in Oslo, Norway on 8 October.
The ground-breaking talks – the first direct negotiations in a decade – will then move to Cuba.
The government delegation to the talks will be led by former Vice President Humberto de la Calle and include former heads of the armed forces and police, a business leader and the peace commissioner.
The last attempt to end the five-decade-old conflict resulted in failure 10 years ago.
this has been going on for years..dont hold your breath this time..