The Colombian government has reached a six-month bilateral ceasefire agreement with the five main armed groups still active in the country, Colombian President Gustavo Petro said.
President Petro tweeted on New Year’s Eve: “We agreed to a ceasefire with the National Liberation Army, Segunda Marquitalia, Central Headquarters, the Gaetanistas Self-Defense Forces in Colombia and the Sierra Nevada Self-Defense Forces from January 1st. until June 30, 2023, the extension of which will depend on progress in the negotiations.”
This mutually agreed truce was the government’s main goal under the Total Peace Initiative to end the ongoing conflict in the country, despite the dissolution of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2017.
Colombia has witnessed more than 50 years of armed conflict between the state and various groups of left-wing militias, right-wing paramilitaries and drug dealers.
Petro, the country’s first left-wing president, vowed to negotiate with all of Colombia’s armed factions as part of a policy of “full peace” when he took power in August.
In November, four-year negotiations between the Colombian government and rebels from the National Liberation Army (PLA) resumed in Caracas, but so far failed to stop the violence across the country.