Colombian president talks tough amid ceasefire calls

2015-05-28 10:08
Juan Manuel Santos (File: AP)

Juan Manuel Santos (File: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bogota - Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Wednesday warned his troops to stay prepared for conflict after leftist FARC rebels decided to drop their unilateral ceasefire.

The Colombian government and FARC negotiators resumed peace talks on Monday in Havana amid heightened tensions following air strikes that killed dozens of rebels in Colombia.

"Don't let your guard down," Santos told a military ceremony in his country's north.

"Now that we are going through a storm in the peace process, with the rebels saying they will end their unilateral ceasefire ... we are going to hold strong moving forward, but meanwhile, you must not let your guard down."

About 40 guerrillas with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia have died in recent days in three military operations in Cauca, Antioquia and Choco, weeks after rebels ambushed army troops and killed 11 soldiers with the unilateral ceasefire supposedly in effect.

Final deal

With the fate of the peace process on the line, its guarantor countries, Cuba and Norway on Wednesday urged the rebels and Bogota to step up talks.

"We call on the parties to continue their efforts, to keep advancing on discussion of remaining issues, including reaching a deal on a permanent bilateral ceasefire and end of hostilities," Cuban diplomat Rodolfo Benitez told reporters in Havana.

The FARC has repeatedly urged Santos to agree to a bilateral ceasefire, but the president has refused to consider a truce without a final peace deal in place.

The talks in the Cuban capital have so far achieved partial deals on several issues, including political participation for rebels and ending the drug trafficking that has fueled the conflict.

But a final deal remains elusive.

The conflict has killed more than 200 000 people since the FARC was launched in 1964 in the wake of a peasant uprising.

It has also uprooted some five million people, drawing in a web of leftist rebel groups, right-wing paramilitaries and drug traffickers in a half-century of violence.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.