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Santos announces talks to end conflict with FARC begin next month in Oslo

Tuesday, September 4th 2012 - 23:35 UTC
Full article 3 comments
The Colombian president making the announcement at palacio Nariño The Colombian president making the announcement at palacio Nariño

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas to end the long standing conflict would start in Oslo in the first half of October before moving to Havana.

There would be no ceasefire, he added in a televised national address, during the latest attempt to end Colombia’s five-decade conflict.

“I ask the Colombian people for patience and strength,” Santos said. “There's no doubt it's time to turn the page.”

While Colombians are hopeful Santos will succeed, he faces a monumental task attempting peace with the FARC, which has holed up in Colombia's jungle territory since 1964 and imposed tough demands in past peace negotiations.

Santos, 61, who is at the mid-point of a four-year term, had repeatedly said he would consider talks with the FARC only if he was certain the drug-funded group would negotiate in good faith.

The FARC comes to peace talks this time, however, from a severely weakened position. Battered by a decade-long US-backed Colombian military offensive, the rebels have lost as much as half their fighting force, reducing their ability to launch major attacks on the government. They are still believed to be able to round up to 8.000 combatants.

Still, they are by no means spent and in recent months have stepped up assaults on key economic infrastructure like oil and mining installations, in a bid, some analysts say, to come to the negotiating table from a position of relative strength.

Venezuela and Chile will help support the talks, Santos added.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • vestias

    quando a Colômbia e as Farc enterrar o machado da guerra e a paz entre na Colômbia o mundo irá estar orgolhoso da Colômbia

    Sep 05th, 2012 - 10:19 am 0
  • JoseAngeldeMonterrey

    A big mistake for Colombia. The only policy that has worked against terrorists is to attack them, arrest them or kill them.

    FARC is only buying time while they reorganize themselves to continue fighting against Colombian democratically elected governments.

    Sep 05th, 2012 - 03:35 pm 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    #2 Yes that policy has worked so well Colombia's war has been going on for 50 years...

    Sep 08th, 2012 - 10:16 pm 0
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