FARC announces new unilateral ceasefire

Updated: 2015-07-09 09:06


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HAVANA - The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC) announced here Wednesday its willingness to decree a ceasefire from July 20 to "generate favorable conditions".

The FARC said they hoped the ceasefire would encourage the Colombian government to adopt similar measures with a view to decreasing hostilities between the two parties.

"We announce our willingness to order a unilateral ceasefire from July 20 for a month," the FARC said through a press release read by the guerrilla movement's chief negotiator Ivan Marquez minutes before the renewal of peace talks in Havana's Palace of Conventions.

"We look to generate favorable conditions with it (the ceasefire) in order to progress with (...) the realization of a bilateral and definitive ceasefire," said Marquez.

"We came to Cuba to reach a peace agreement to put an end to a war which has gone on for over half a century. Nothing would please us more than to finally put a stop to the confrontation, violence, the generation of new victims and the Colombian people's suffering as a consequence of the conflict," continued the FARC negotiator.

The rebel group's declaration was made public 24 hours after Cuba and Norway, guarantor countries for the peace talks, joined by Venezuela and Chile, called for an "urgent de-escalation" of the Colombian armed conflict which has worsened in the past weeks.

This is FARC's sixth unilateral ceasefire since peace negotiations began in the Cuban capital in November 2012.

The whole process is expected to bring an end to the over 50 years of conflict which has caused more than 220,000 deaths and around six million people being displaced.

Since their first contact, both parties have come to an agreement on topics relating to integrated agricultural development and the fight against corruption and drugs. Abandoning arms and the countersigning mechanism for an eventual peace treaty still need to be discussed.