lunes, 29 de agosto de 2016

Fighting with FARC formally "at an end" in Colombia

A bilateral and definitive ceasefire between the Colombian government and the FARC or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, began at midnight on 28-29 August, marking the beginning of the end of some 50 years of civil war pursuant to a recent peace agreement reached between both sides. The FARC's supreme leader, Timoleón Jiménez or Timochenko, ordered his troops to stop fighting speaking from a hotel in Havana on 28 August. President Juan Manuel Santos also expressed his delight, writing on Twitter that a "new history begins for Colombia on 29 August. We silenced the guns. The war with the FARC is over." A verification committee was now to check and ensure the ceasefire was being respected nationwide by both sides, Radio Santa Fe reported on 29 August. The state and the FARC were expected to sign a peace treaty between 20 and 26 September, Agence France-Presse cited the Interior Minister Juan Carlos Villegas as saying on 26 August. Colombia's smaller guerrilla force, the National Liberation Army (ELN) was separately "worried" by this peace and "differs" with the FARC over the contents of its accord, according to the newspaper El Espectador. Its commander, Nicolás Rodríguez Bautista, reportedly sent the FARC chief a two-page letter praising the FARC's move to become a peaceful political entity but also stating his concern that the government would now turn its forces on the ELN, which have fewer troops than the FARC. Rodríguez, aka Gabino, stated he did not discern any intention on the government's part to make peace with the ELN. Five suspected ELN fighters were separately arrested in the district of Bagre in Antioquia, Colprensa and dailies reported on 28 August. They were associated with acts of extorsion used to finance the guerrillas.