Colombian government rejects ceasefire offer by FARC rebels

World Today

The Colombian rebel group FARC declared an indefinite truce in the world’s longest-running guerrilla war, but only on the condition that the government suspends its military operations against the rebels and allows foreign monitors to track the ceasefire. It was a condition that Colombia’s government rebuffed. CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reported this story from Bogota, Colombia.

Colombian government rejects ceasefire offer by FARC rebels

The Colombian rebel group FARC declared an indefinite truce in the world's longest-running guerrilla war, but only on the condition that the government suspends its military operations against the rebels and allows foreign monitors to track the ceasefire. It was a condition that Colombia's government rebuffed. CCTV America's Michelle Begue reported this story from Bogota, Colombia.

The promise to lay down arms by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, also known as FARC, might have made them look like peacemakers, but the prospect of ending the 50-year-old conflict faded quickly.

“We have resolved to declare a unilateral ceasefire and an end to hostilities for an indefinite time, which should transform into an armistice,” Ivan Marquez, a FARC negotiator, said.

The government did not agree.

“This is like a flower that we have received, but when we opened the gift we found thorns. So we will take the thorns off and keep the rose,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said.

On Thursday morning, the president’s office published a statement on its website, saying it “valued” the rebels decision, but made it clear the government would not permit foreign teams to monitor the ceasefire until the rebels and the government reach a peace deal in talks that began in 2012.

President Santos vowed to fulfill his “constitutional duty to protect and guarantee the safety of the Colombian people.” FARC representatives have yet to respond to the government’s statement.

Political Analyst Jairo Libreros said the events were all part of a political game. If other peace negotiations in the region were anything to go by, a Colombian peace agreement may be close.

“In Guatemala, the same thing happened. The President accepted a unilateral ceasefire, but would not suspend military operations. However, they were soon suspended. In every single case, the President’s declaration looks to avoid obstructions from the economic and military elite in the country, but military operations are suspended,” Libreros said.