“There will be no extension to the unilateral ceasefire,” said Ivan Marquez, the FARC’s lead negotiator in the peace talks with the Colombian government.
The current unilateral ceasefire expires on January 20, and Marquez clarified that the only possible way by which an extension “would be within the realm of possibility” is if the government is willing to sign a bilateral ceasefire agreement.
Such an agreement is not likely however, as President Juan Manuel Santos has continually dismissed the idea, claiming that “the sooner we get to a peace agreement, the sooner we will silence the guns.“
The possibility of a bilateral ceasefire is also unlikely given the skepticism with which the Santos administration has viewed the FARC’s current pause in hostilities. Since it began late last year, the Colombian armed forces have made claims that the FARC have broken the truce on numerous occasions.
Meanwhile, unburdened by any such commitment, the Colombian armed forces have continued military operations with substantial success.
Peace talks between the two warring parties will push on regardless, as they resume negotiations on January 14 in Havana, Cuba.