BOGOTA – The guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) welcomed the announcement made by the Colombian president on extending the bilateral ceasefire until Dec. 31.
The FARC said that it agreed with the decision decisively.
In a statement released on Twitter, the guerrilla group said “we are deeply committed to peace and touched by all popular demonstrations in Colombia and abroad that continued to support the peace process in recent weeks.”
The group released the statement after President Juan Manuel Santos announced on Thursday the extension of the bilateral ceasefire with Colombia’s main guerrilla group until Dec. 31.
The ceasefire between the government and FARC came into effect on Aug. 29, and the Ministry of Defense issued a resolution regulating the measure, which remained in effect until Oct. 2, the day a plebiscite was held which left the implementation of the peace agreement in uncertainty.
With a majority of Colombians rejecting the agreement in the referendum, Santos on Oct. 4 initially decided to extend the ceasefire until Oct. 31 to avoid any armed incidents between the parties.
The extension was interpreted in some quarters as a warning against the possible resumption of hostilities, which was denied by the defense ministry.
In the statement, signed by its top brass, the FARC insisted that “we are ready and with full disposal to put all our attention starting from Tuesday to the workday of discussions on the latest proposals submitted to the President.”
“With patriotic spirit, we will evaluate all proposals, always giving priority to defending the most heartfelt interests and dignity of the Colombian people,” the statement added.
Before the referendum results came out – in which the “no” option won a majority of votes – Santos called for a national dialogue to listen to the proposals of critics of the document.
Parallel to the meetings, the mobilization of citizens has multiplied in the country, led by university students, demanding progress in the consensus around the peace agreement.