Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC announced announced on Monday that two captured soldiers will be released on Tuesday.
The FARC announced its intent to release the prisoners in a press release shortly after the Colombian government suspended all military operations in the area.
The two soldiers were captured during combat between the Colombian military and rebels in the northeastern state of Arauca, where the release will also be taking place.
A second pending release, that of an army general who was captured with a subordinate and lawyer while traveling through FARC territory, might take longer, said the FARC.
The detention of the general in western Colombia forced President Juan Manuel Santos to suspend ongoing peace talks with the rebels, demanding all five captives be handed over before the negotiations are resumed.
According to the guerrillas, the military has carried out bombings and ground offensives while imposing “restrictions of the right to free movement” that have made it impossible to proceed with the release of General Ruban Alzate.
The army has denied these accusations, claiming the military is only maintaining public order in the area.
The FARC and the government have been engaged in peace talks since November 2012. Both sides continue carrying out attacks as no agreement has been found over a bilateral ceasefire for the duration of the talks.
- Liberación de dos prisioneros de guerra en Arauca en marcha (FARC website)