Colombian president has no use for ceasefire
Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos has rejected a proposal its main leftist rebel movement to observe a ceasefire during peace talks that are to begin next month in Norway.
Leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, said last night that their first item on the negotiations’ agenda would be to propose a truce in the half-century of fighting that has killed tens of thousands of people.
Mr Santos rejected the proposal, saying that Colombian military and police had been instructed to intensify offensive actions against the rebels.
There was no immediate response from FARC officials.
Rebel officials raised the idea of a ceasefire during a meeting with journalists in Havana, Cuba, to discuss FARC’s plans for the peace talks.
“We will propose a ceasefire the moment we sit down at the table,” said Mauricio Jaramillo, a spokesman and top FARC leader. “We are going to discuss it.”
Before Mr Santos rejected that idea, he said during an interview that a lasting peace could be achieved if both sides truly have the will.
FARC said the talks are scheduled to begin on the 8 October in Oslo and it named three of its negotiators, including a high-ranking guerrilla imprisoned in the United States.
Mr Jaramillo said two of the negotiators will be Ivan Marquez, a participant in past peace talks and a member of the FARC’s six-person ruling secretariat, and Jose Santrich, a second-tier leader.
The rebels said they want the third to be Ricardo Palmera, alias “Simon Trinidad,” a high-ranking FARC member and former peace negotiator who was extradited to the US in 2005 and is serving a 60-year prison term on hostage-taking conspiracy charges.
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