Colombia's FARC will start a unilateral ceasefire on December 20th in a move that could help lead to a peace deal between the rebels and the government.
"We have resolved to declare a unilateral ceasefire and an end of hostilities for an indefinite period,"
according to a statement issued by the FARC on Wednesday and read by chief guerilla negotiator alias "Ivan Marquez." The militants called on Pope Francis, the UNASUR bloc, the Red Cross and other international organizations to monitor compliance with the ceasefire.
The FARC expressed their hope that the ceasefire could lead to "an armistice" in Colombia's decades-long armed conflict but warned that they would resume hostilities if the rebels are attacked by the military.
Negotiations between the FARC and the Colombian government began in November 2012, and both sides have reached partial pacts in areas like land reform and political participation. Discussions were suspended for a few weeks over the kidnapping of a Colombian army general but were renewed following his liberation.
More than 200,000 people have died in the past fifty years of conflict in Colombia.
Online Sources - FARC-EP; MercoPress