Thursday, March 23, 2023

Cease-fire planned before Colombian rebels free French journalist

French journalist Romeo Langlois was captured last month by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia

(CNN) — The Colombian defense ministry will cease all military operations in an area of the country Tuesday evening ahead of the release of French journalist Romeo Langlois, Red Cross officials said.

Langlois, a war journalist with more than 10 years of experience in Colombia, was reporting alongside soldiers during an April 28 attack by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, according to the government. Four people were killed and six were wounded in the ambush by the rebel group.

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The cease fire, along with other safeguards for the FARC, are part of a document signed by International Committee of the Red Cross representative in Colombia, Jordi Raich, along with Colombian Deputy Defense Minister Jorge Bedoya and French ambassador Pierre-Jean Vandoorne on Sunday.

The cease-fire in the Caqueta area will last until the early morning hours of Thursday.

The ICRC did not have a location for the release of Langlois, but the team expects to have it by early afternoon on Tuesday, Raich told reporters Monday.

Over the weekend, FARC announced that it would release Langlois on Wednesday.

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Statement: FARC to release Langlois

A video was also released showing the veteran journalist, stating stating and spelling his name.

In the video, he receives treatment for an arm wound and talks about his experience reporting on the conflict in Colombia.

“I cover both sides, seeking the opinion of everyone,” he said,

CNN could not confirm the authenticity of the video, which gave no indication when it was shot.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said his government will do whatever was necessary to guarantee Langlois’ release.

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“The Colombian government is willing to provide all the facilities so the release occurs as quickly as possible, but if you really want to be viewed well by the world, release him now and simply tell us where he is and we will go get him,” he said this month.

The rebel group has been at war with the government since the 1960s, making it Latin American’s oldest insurgency.

While severely weakened in recent years, FARC continues to carry out kidnappings and attack security forces.

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