Colombia ceasefire ends 52 years of war
A HISTORIC midnight ceasefire on August 28 ended a 52-year-old war between the Colombian state and FARC rebels.
Hundreds of thousands of Colombians have died since 1964 as rebel armies and gangs battled in the jungles in Latin America’s last major civil armed conflict.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) issued the order for its fighters to observe the cease fire from midnight.
“I order all our commanders and units and each one of our combatants to definitively cease fire and hostilities against the Colombian state from midnight tonight,” top FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez said in a declaration before the media.
“The end of the conflict has arrived!” President Juan Manuel Santos wrote on his Twitter account, after signing a decree to halt military operations against FARC.
Mr Santos and Mr Jimenez are due to sign a final peace agreement some time between September 20 and 26.
The ceasefire and definitive end of hostilities will be followed by a sixmonth demobilisation process.
Guerrilla fighters will gather at collection points and give up their weapons under UN supervision.
On October 2, Colombians will go to the polls to cast ballots in a referendum to endorse the agreement.
Under a July ruling by the Constitutional Court, approval requires a majority “yes” vote by at least 4.4 million people, or 13 percent of the electorate. –