Farc rebels call ceasefire after Colombia police station attack

 

Colombia’s main leftist guerrilla group fighting a five-year war with government forces has called a one-month long ceasefire from 15 December.

The Farc said it was responding to public opinion following its attack on a police station on Saturday when eight people were killed.

The Colombian government and the Farc have been holding peace talks in Cuba with the aim of ending a conflict that has claimed more than 200,000 lives since 2008.

“We proceed to order of our guerrilla units and militias a cessation of fire and hostilities for 30 days from 00.00 hours of 15 December,” said Pablo Catatumbo, a Farc negotiator.

But the government said they would continue to purse rebels responsible for an attack on the police station in a small town in the south of the country. Two civilians were among the dead.

President Juan Manuel Santos, speaking late on Saturday from Inza, the town where the attack took place, said: “If the Farc believe that with acts like this they are going to lead us to a ceasefire, which is also what they are saying, they are totally mistaken.

“We will continue attacking them. The offensive will continue.”

The government has never before agreed to a ceasefire with Farc, which has reportedly been roughly halved in size in the last decade by a US-backed military offensive.

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