FARC given one-year deadline to reach Colombia peace deal

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FARC given one-year deadline to reach Colombia peace deal

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Colombian rebels from the FARC have been given a one-year deadline by the country’s president to reach a peace deal.

Juan Manuel Santos said the left-wing group would be given all necessary guarantees to abandon violence and join the political process.

Talks begun in Cuba last month are due to resume this week.

“This has to be a process of months, rather than years. In other words, this should not last any longer than November next year at the latest, and I would say (it should be) earlier than that,” the president said.

It comes amid reports that at least 20 rebels have been killed in an army operation in Nariño province in southwestern Colombia.

The president has warned the FARC not to use the talks to try to bring about “revolution by decree”.

A truce has been ruled out until a final deal is reached and the army has been intensifying its offensive. Another recent operation resulted in several FARC members being killed or captured.

The rebel group has welcomed moves to tackle rural problems. It rejects any quick peace deal, saying the social causes of the decades-long conflict must be addressed.