BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) – Representatives of the FARC and Colombian government on Wednesday reached an historic agreement for a bilateral cease-fire to end a decades-long conflict.
“We have successfully arrived at an agreement on a bilateral ceasefire and a definitive cessation of hostilities; disarmament; guarantees of security and the fight against criminal organizations responsible for homicides and massacres or which threaten human rights defenders, or those involved in social movements or political movements,” said a joint statement released from Havana, Cuba, where talks have been ongoing.
The details of the agreement will be announced Thursday at an event that will be attended by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, FARC commander-in-chief Timoleon Jimenez, Cuban President Raul Castro, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
“I pray to God that He gives us the strength to complete these accords, hopefully this very week, because we are at a stage where we can achieve them,” Santos said at a press conference in Bogota Tuesday. “If the negotiating teams make one last effort to reach the final agreements, on the cease-fire and ending hostilities, we will have taken a final step towards the achievement of this peace.”
In addition to the providing details of the deal, the negotiating teams are expected to confirm the locations of the 26 temporary zones of concentration where FARC rebels will demobilize and disarm in Colombia.
Demobilizing FARC rebels will be expected to spend six months at the locations before being reintegrated into Colombian society.
Guerrilla Carlos Antonio Lozada, who has been involved in the peace talks, on Twitter signaled a nearing of the end to the conflict.
“The subcommission has delivered its proposal for the Ceasefire and end of Hostilities #ElÚltimoDíaDeLaGuerra (#thelastdayofthewar),” he tweeted.
The event Thursday is expected to bring an end to more than 50 years of conflict that began in 1964.
- Richard Mccoll
- News America