BOGOTA._ With more than two months having passed since the FARC-EP guerillas declared a ceasefire, the monthlong suspension of army bombardments towards the insurgent group`s base camps marks an important step towards peace in Colombia.
President Juan Manuel Santos said that this initiative will contribute to the mitigation of the conflict, also acknowledging prior measures implemented by the guerrilla movement towards this same peaceful end.
The suspension of bomb attacks on the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces- People´s Army (FARC-EP) follows their unilateral war cessation of last December 20 among other agreements, such as their decision not to accept recruits under the age of 17 into their ranks.
The Government and the FARC-EP also agreed to launch a nationwide deactivation of unexploded munitions, and improvised explosive devices as well as a mine-clearing initiative.
A joint communiqué said that the program, which will initially focus on 100 municipalities, is an endeavor to enhance civil security.
Overseen by a Norwegian organization, the work -- due to its magnitude -- could be ongoing until 2025.
The series of statements, which include the establishment of an advisory peace commission, has aroused optimism in a country ravaged by 50 years of war.
Despite the temporary nature of the suspension, congress members consider that it should offer some relief to zones that have traditionally been the site ofconfrontation.
Lawyer Humberto de la Calle, chief of the governmental talks team, commented that, within a month, it would be decided whether to extend the suspension or not. In the meantime, the military will continue to carry out ground control in order to deter crime.
Analysts agree that this measure temporarily resolves the issues of holding talks in the midst of war, and mitigates the risk of dialogue ruptures due to conflict related violence.
Meanwhile in Havana, the headquarters of peace talks, expert groups are negotiating the conditions and different stages of a permanent ceasefire of both parties.
At the moment, the dialogues are at a critical stage as they are dealing with heated and controversial issues such as compensation for the 6.8 million victims of the conflict.
Also outstanding is the topic of the definitive termination of conflict which encompasses disarmament, demobilisation, and the societal reintegration of the guerrillas.
Despite advances in agreements with the FARC-EP, roundtable talks with the National Liberation Army guerrilla have not been held and the date is yet to be set.
There is still work to be done if a peace accord is to be signed before the year´s end, as announced by president Santos.
The latter was re-elected due to his strong will of ending violence and his promise of advancing peace talks with the rebels.Share on FB Share on TT