The decision to end military training is further proof the internal conflict in Colombia is coming to an end.
In yet another sign rebels in Colombia are preparing for peace, the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) will no longer undergo combat training and will instead focus on political and cultural education, the head of the insurgent group announced via his Twitter account Wednesday.
Timoleon Jimenez, better known by his alias Timochenko, said in a tweet directed at Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos that he had ordered the command structures to suspend military training. It was the rebel leader's first tweet in nearly three years.
“Juan Manuel Santos, I’ve ordered the structures of the FARC-EP to suspend military courses and dedicate themselves to political and cultural training.”
In a recent exclusive interview with teleSUR, Timochenko reaffirmed the guerrilla army's commitment to securing a final peace deal with the government and seeing that the deal translates into peace in Colombia. In order to do so, he said the rebels have been working hard to share the developments outcomes of the peace talks with the guerrillas in the jungle, and with Colombian society at large.
On Sept. 23, Commander Timochenko and President Santos traveled to Havana, Cuba, site of peace negotiations, to sign an agreement regarding transitional justice. The topic of transitional justice was considered to be the most sensitive and contentious topic during negotiations and the signing of the partial agreement between the FARC and the Colombian government, is seen as a milestone for the peace process.
A final deal appears to be at hand with both parties agreeing to having a deal signed in no more than six months with a deadline of March 23, 2016. According to FARC Commander Pastor Alape, a member of the rebel's negotiating team, Timochenko has also ordered negotiators to concentrate their efforts on meeting this deadline.
Peace negotiations between the FARC and the Colombian government began nearly three years ago and have thus far been the most successful effort to end the five-decade-long conflict. Previous peace talks ended without a final deal.
The latest moves by the FARC are further proof that the political will to end Latin America's longest running conflict appears stronger than ever. President Santos also affirmed his belief that the “FARC want peace.”
“I arrived to process with skepticism. Today I am convinced that the FARC want peace. If I thought otherwise, I would not continue.”
Llegué al proceso con escepticismo. Hoy estoy convencido que las FARC quieren la paz. Si pensara lo contrario no seguiría #ReutersLive— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) September 30, 2015
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