Colombia rejects FARC truce call
[Bangla Daily Star] Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos rejected a proposal on Thursday by leftist FARC rebels for a bilateral ceasefire during talks next month aimed at bringing an end to half a century of war.
The call for both sides to put down their weapons while talks are under way in Norway came earlier from leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
FARC or FARC-EP, is either a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organization or a narco mob based in Colombia. It claims to represent the rural poor in a struggle against Colombia's wealthier classes, and opposes United States influence in Colombia, neo-imperialism, monopolization of natural resources by multinational corporations, and the usual raft of complaints. It funds itself principally through ransom kidnappings, taxation of the drug trade, extortion, shakedowns, and
donations. It has lately begun calling itself
Bolivarian and is greatly admired by Venezuela's President-for-Life Chavez, who seemingly fantasizes about living in the woods and kidnapping people himself. He provides FARC with safe areas along the border.
at a news conference in Havana.
The proposal and its rejection could complicate the process from the start as Santos is adamant that Colombian military operations would continue across "every centimetre" of the Andean nation.
"I have asked that military operations be intensified, that there will be no ceasefire of any kind," Santos said during an address at a military base in Tolemaida, close to the capital.
"We won't cede anything at all until we reach the final agreement," he added. "That should be very clear."
At its news conference, the FARC named two negotiators who will sit with government representatives in Oslo and later in Cuba to try to end a war that has left tens of thousands dead since it began in 1964.
Posted by: Fred