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Mon 19 Nov 2012

FARC and Colombia begin peace negotiations

  • By Maja Micudova
  • Laast Update: 3 years ago
  • Havana, Provincia de Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba

Juan Manuel Santos, the President of Colombia

flickr-Center for American Progress

The government of Colombia resumes peace talks with the Marxist oriented Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the group that has been fighting the official government since 1964. 

The first round of talks was originally scheduled to start on November 15, but was postponed in order to give both sides time to work on "technical details," according to an official statement. 

The negotiations between the two sides, which many hope will end the country's 48-year long conflict, were launched on October 18 in the Norwegian capital, Oslo. It was the first time the rebels and the government met to discuss the peace process since 2002, when the first attempt at negotiations initiated by the country's former leader Andres Pastrana ended in a failure.

During the talks in Oslo, the FARC called for an immediate ceasefire, saying that the two sides should stop the bloodshed in Colombia. 

The Colombian government, however, refused to lay down their arms, claiming that a ceasefire at this stage would only enable the rebels to re-arm. 

The talks are expected to focus on five key areas including the end of the armed conflict, land reform and guarantees for the exercise of political opposition and citizen participation. Drug trafficking and the rights of the victims of the conflict will also be discussed. 

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