Colombia's FARC suspends weapons purchases as peace talks continue

by Reuters
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 16:54 GMT

BOGOTA, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Colombia's Marxist FARC rebels have suspended the purchase of weapons and munitions as a goodwill gesture as the group negotiates an end to five decades of war with the government.

The decision was announced on Tuesday by Rodrigo Londono, head of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), via his Twitter account. It comes almost two months after the two sides agreed to finalize an end to the conflict by March.

"On September 30th I gave the order to suspend the purchase of arms and munitions to the entire (FARC) structure," said Londono, known by his nom de guerre Timochenko.

The group has already ceased combat training for its approximately 8,000 fighters.

President Juan Manuel Santos entered into peace talks with the FARC three years ago in a bid to end a war that has killed more than 220,000 and displaced millions since it began in 1964.

The FARC in July called a unilateral ceasefire and the government has stopped air raids on rebel camps but fallen short so far of calling a bilateral ceasefire.

Santos and Londono met for the first time in Havana on Sept. 23 and signed a historic accord to create a tribunal that would impose sentences on FARC fighters.

The agreement adds to accords that would reform the agriculture sector, tackle the illegal drugs trade, allow former FARC fighters to enter politics, and help rid the nation of land mines. (Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Helen Murphy; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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