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Colombia extends cease-fire with FARC splinter group in bid to cut back rural violence

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BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia’s authorities has prolonged a cease-fire with the FARC-EMC insurgent group that was set to run out this week, as either side maintain peace talks in Bogota in an effort to cut back violence in rural elements of the nation.

The cease-fire will now final till July 15, in accordance with a decree signed Sunday by President Gustavo Petro, and it requires that the rebels stop assaults on civilians in areas underneath their management – a vital measure in accordance with some analysts.

“The cease-fires now we have seen (throughout the Petro administration) thus far, have actually solely restricted the clashes between the federal government and the insurgent teams, however have not had an actual impression on the lives of communities” stated Elizabeth Dickinson, a Colombia analyst on the Worldwide Disaster Group. “What we get to see now could be whether or not this ceasefire can change that paradigm.”

Colombia’s authorities in October introduced peace talks with the FARC-EMC splinter group after either side agreed to a three-month lengthy cease-fire.

The group of round 3,500 fighters is led by insurgent commanders who didn’t be part of a 2016 peace deal between the Colombian authorities and the principle FARC group that ended 5 many years of battle.

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Whereas homicides in Colombia have gone down for the reason that 2016 peace deal was signed, there was an uptick in violence in some rural pockets of the nation, the place teams just like the FARC-EMC, the Nationwide Liberation Military and the Gulf Clan are combating over territory deserted by the FARC.

Petro’s administration has tried to carry simultaneous peace talks with these teams, as a part of the president’s “Whole Peace” plan. However critics say that cease-fires with the nation’s remaining insurgent teams have carried out little to cease assaults on the inhabitants, with the rebels utilizing the cessation of hostilities with the navy as a chance to recruit youngsters, extort native companies and kidnap civilians for hefty ransom funds – together with the daddy of a well-known soccer participant.

The brand new cease-fire with the federal government additionally requires that the rebels not threaten neighborhood leaders or management the actions of villagers in rural areas, who’re typically confined to their villages by the insurgent teams.

The FARC-EMC and the federal government have disclosed few particulars about their present spherical of talks, that are being held within the nation’s capital. However they’ve hinted that they may focus on the implementation of financial initiatives aimed toward remodeling rural areas, the place impoverished farmers have opted to develop unlawful crops to make a residing.

Sustainable growth initiatives aimed toward reducing deforestation are additionally being mentioned, in accordance with the federal government’s lead negotiator, Camilo González Posso.


Observe AP’s protection of Latin America and the Caribbean at https://apnews.com/hub/latin-america

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