SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association) The Colombian government and the country’s main rebel group, FARC, have resumed the peace talks suspended last month over the abduction of an army general.
Like the previous round, the talks will be held in Cuba in an effort to “de-escalate” the 50-year conflict between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the central government in Bogota, said Norwegian and Cuban mediators on Wednesday.
The officials who are brokering a deal between the opposing sides said the talks would be held from December 10 to 17.
“We consider the crisis over and announce that we have agreed that the next cycle of conversations will take place between December 10 and 17 ,” said a joint statement read by Cuban mediator Jose Luis Ponce.
The announcement followed FARC’s release of General Ruben Alzate along with two other captives on Sunday.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos “celebrated” the news, noting, “Advancing faster is another of our proposals — completely finishing this armed conflict to save us lives, save us suffering and have peace in our country at last.”
Meanwhile, Norwegian diplomat Dag Nagoda said the two sides had agreed to establish a “permanent mechanism” to resolve any future issues.
FARC is Latin America’s oldest insurgent group and has been fighting the Colombian government since 1964.
The Colombian government and the rebels have held several rounds of peace talks to end the conflict.
Bogota estimates that 600,000 people have been killed and more than 4.5 million displaced due to the fighting.
The rebel organization is thought to have around 8,000 fighters operating across a large swathe of the eastern jungles of the Andean nation.