Peace talks between Colombia’s government and the country’s largest rebel group, the FARC, will either end successfully or be terminated before the end of the year, the country’s peace commissioner said Monday.
In an interview with Medellin newspaper El Colombiano, Peace Commissioner Sergio Jaramillo reiterated the position of the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos that there is a time limit to the negotiations that aim to end the country’s half-a-century conflict with the FARC.
“The government isn’t interested in talking to the FARC eternally … The government does not want to talk to the FARC beyond this year,” Jaramillo told the newspaper.
The peace commissioner stressed the importance of maintaining a tight schedule because of a long and “painful” phase of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration that follow a possible peace accord between the warring parties.
“The transition phase [that follows a peace agreement] will not be easy. It may be painful, but it’s the best option we have to find a dignified end of this 50-year war for all,” said the peace commissioner.
The FARC and government negotiators showed strong disagreements on key issues still to be resolved to come to a peace deal.
The country’s oldest and largest rebel group refuses to rush the peace talks, saying they “will take the necessary time.”
Additionally, the FARC have repeatedly said they may lay down arms, but do not plan to hand them over to the state.
The peace talks have been going on in the Cuban capital of Havana since November.