The Central High Command of the FARC (EMC), the main dissident faction of the now-defunct FARC, has returned to the negotiating table with the Colombian government. This was announced by the government after an abrupt and unilateral suspension of talks two weeks ago by the illegal armed group.
The announcement was made early this morning, November 15, by Camilo González Posso, chief negotiator for the Colombian government. It is worth noting that the group suspended talks due to the state remilitarization of the Cauca region where the armed group operates, despite the bilateral ceasefire that both parties have maintained until mid-January 2024.
Return to the peace talks with Colombia’s Government
After two challenging weeks for the Total Peace project led by President Petro’s government, calm seems to return in Colombia. Yesterday, it was announced that the fifth cycle of negotiations with the National Liberation Army (ELN) in Mexico begins on November 20, and today the same happens with the peace talks initiated a month ago with the EMC.
“After two weeks of suspension or recess declared by the Central High Command of the FARC to carry out their consultations and reorganizations, we are going to resume the scheduled meetings, particularly a new cycle,” confirmed Camilo González in a statement.
In addition to the announcement, González also provided a brief overview of the month of dialogues with this illegal armed group, a dissident faction from the 2016 peace agreements. “In the first session, we approved various agreement protocols, especially for the protection of the civilian population, 21 commitments based on International Humanitarian Law and human rights,” explained the head of the Colombian peace delegation.
End to the recruitment of minors and the use of landmines
Furthermore, it was announced that so far, the armed group have reportedly committed to ending the recruitment of minors and the use of landmines. These would be the first agreements reached in the few weeks of peace talks just before the temporary suspension by the dissident group.
The announcement of the resumption is good news for the government’s commitment to making peace with these complex armed groups, which, with their displays of distrust and suspicion, jeopardized the talks that were just beginning.
It is hoped that before the end of the year, new measures will be finalized, especially considering that the bilateral ceasefire ends on January 15, 2024.