Leftist Farc rebels who have fought an insurgency against the Colombian government for five decades are to engage in peace talks next month.
The negotiations will be staged in two phases, the first will begin in Norway, the second in Cuba.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced the talks saying it was time to turn the page:
“This agreement is different because it doesn’t cede territory and because military operations will not stop. It is different because the discussions will be held outside Colombia. It is different because the discussions will not have an unlimited timetable,” said the president.
While most Colombians hope Santos will succeed, he faces a monumental challenge to reach peace with the insurgents which have been holed up in the Colombian jungle since 1964.
What started as a communist inspired peasant army later became financially dependent upon drug- trafficking and ransoms from hostage taking.