Colombian President announces peace talks with FARC rebels

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

FARC guerrillas marching during peace talks of 1998–2002.
Image: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced on state television Monday that his government is to hold talks with FARC rebels who have been fighting the government since 1964. Regional media outlet Telesur said the negotiations will take place in Oslo, Norway on October 5 and will then continue in Cuba.

There has been a growing recognition in Colombia that after decades of war, only a peace settlement will allow the country to move forward. Colombian Chief Prosecutor Eduardo Montealegre commenting on Monday said the country "must move toward a peace process" whilst Daniel García-Peña, Peace Commissioner in the 1990s, said: "[...] I am upbeat. I think both the government and the FARC understand that continuing the war is senseless."

FARC renounced kidnapping in February and released the last of its non-civilian captives in April. Previous negotiations between the parties ten years ago failed.