Sunday, May 28, 2023

Colombia warns FARC against resuming attacks

Colombian President has warned the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels against resuming violent operations once the group’s unilateral ceasefire expires.

Juan Manuel Santos said on Sunday that the security forces were ready to respond to rebel attacks, urging FARC members not to mount “terrorist attacks.”

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The country’s largest rebel force, FARC, announced a two-month ceasefire after negotiations with the Colombian government in November 2012, which will expire on Sunday.

The peace talks were held with the participation of 30 representatives including the Colombian government, FARC members and representatives from Venezuela and Chile in the Cuban capital of Havana.

The Colombian government has continued to target rebels, arguing that the leftist group would use ceasefire as an opportunity to rearm.

Although both sides agree on a decreased level of violence compared to the same period last year, President Santos said last week that the guerrilla group had only partially fulfilled its ceasefire pledge.

According to the Colombian military, rebels have violated the truce at least 52 times over the past two months.

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The Colombian think tank New Rainbow Corporation also reported that at least nine battles has been initiated by the rebels since the beginning of the truce.

The conflict began in 1964 when FARC was established as a communist agrarian faction to protest against the concentration of land ownership and social inequalities in Colombia.

According to UN figures, the fights between the two sides has left thousands of people dead and displaced about four million others.

The rebel organization is Latin America’s oldest insurgent group and has more than 9,000 fighters operating across a large swathe of the eastern jungles of the Andean nation.

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