Five top Colombian military officials will travel to Cuba on Tuesday to help other senior officials negotiate a truce with the rebel group FARC.
The country’s government is holding peace talks with the leftist guerrilla group and is currently negotiating a bilateral truce.
From Spain, President Juan Manuel Santos declared that the four generals and an admiral are to be included in a technical subcommittee that is negotiating the end to 50 years of violence.
Santos said that the addition of the officials to the technical sub commission could lead to “a momentous step in the history of our country.”
The appointed generals are the ones to negotiate the definite end of violence with top FARC commanders ahead of an eventual final peace agreements.
The FARC declared an indefinite unilateral ceasefire in December last year, asking the government to reciprocate.
The government agreed, increasing chances for the end of an armed conflict that has spanned over 50 years and killed more than 900,000 Colombians, according to government statistics.
From the capital Bogota, Defense Minster Juan Carlos Pinzon claimed that the “most important architects of the peace process” are the Colombian Armed Forces who — backed by US military aid — were able to severely diminish the FARC’s military power in the first decade of this century.
New commission members
General Carlos Alfonso Rojas
General Oswaldo Rivera
Admiral Orlando Romero
General Martin Fernando Nieto
General Alvaro Pico
The five commanders will join the subcommittee, presided by General Javier Florez since August last year.
The head of government negotiators, former Vice President Humberto de la Calle, said that the participation of these five senior military officers “should only give reassurance and peace to the Colombian people.”
In a statement given in Havana, De la Calle referenced the peace process in El Salvador as one example where the presence of active members of the military “enriched the debate” affirming that, “it is among the men who have experienced war that we build the transition to peace.”
The FARC and the Santos administration have been negotiating peace since November 2012.
So far, there is agreement on rural reform, political participation and drug trafficking. The negotiators are currently talking about victims and the final end to the armed conflict.
Mesa de La Habana inicia la discusión del punto tres, fin del conflicto, Colombia informa