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Colombia's FARC rebels announce month-long truce

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Colombia's FARC rebels announce month-long truce


Colombia’s FARC rebels have announced a month-long unilateral ceasefire starting from July 20.

Leftist FARC have been engaged in peace talks with the Colombian government since 2012 but in recent months an increase in violence has threatened their progress.

The truce was announced from Cuba where the talks are taking place.

“We seek to generate favourable conditions to advance with our counterpart the work towards a definitive, bilateral cease-fire,” said FARC’s lead negotiator, Iván Márquez,.

The Colombian government has welcomed the move but President Juan Manuel Santos has made no sign he is willing to reciprocate, indeed he told the rebels they need to make more lasting gestures.

In March, Santos agreed to halt air strikes in response to a previous unilateral FARC truce, but resumed them in April after a deadly rebel attack that killed 10 soldiers.

The current talks in Havana which are being facilitated by be four countries – Cuba , Norway, Chile and Venezuela – have produced the most progress to date towards ending the conflict which has killed 2220,000 people and displaced millions since 1964.

President Santos has said he would like to reach a peace agreement this year.

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