The Colombian guerrilla group FARC will propose a bilateral ceasefire as soon as peace talks with the Colombian government start in Norway on October 8th.
The announcement was made at a press conference in the Cuban capital Havana, held to reveal the names of the guerrilla members who are to represent the FARC at the peace negotiations.
“We will propose a ceasefire as soon as the dialogue begins on October 8,” said Mauricio Jaramillo political representative of the FARC.
“We have come far enough in the process of confrontation with the State. We will propose a bilateral cease fire,” the rebel spokesman added.
Additionally, the guerrillas “are fully committed to the surrendering of arms and demobilization,” said Jaramillo.
With regard to hostages the guerrillas “no longer retain any,” according to Jaramillo. Adding to this FARC spokesman Ricardo Tellez said that “in consultation with all the Fronts we have confirmed that they don’t have any civilian hostages, that would be a violation of the internal mandates of the FARC.”
The FARC and the government have been holding secret “exploratory” talks in Cuba over the past six months. The two warring parties have agreed to now enter a second phase of the peace negotiations, to be held in Norway in October. They hope to conclude with the signing of a peace accord ending Colombia’s 48-year-old armed conflict.