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  • Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos speaks during the commemoration of the 196th anniversary of the Colombian Army, in Bogota, Colombia, August 7, 2015.

    Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos speaks during the commemoration of the 196th anniversary of the Colombian Army, in Bogota, Colombia, August 7, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 August 2015

Both parties look to special congress as a forum to end the 50-year-old armed conflict which has claimed 220,000 lives.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos proposed Thursday that the implementation of peace agreements with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) can be achieved through a special congress that would also include some rebel leaders.

The move is aimed at ensuring the success of peace processes between the Colombian government and guerrillas, a process that has taken place in Havana, since 2012, with the mediation of diplomats from Cuba and Norway.

"It can be done through a legislative act, but we can also create a kind of “congresito” (little congress), that will help to develop the agreements " said the President, elected in 2014 for a second consecutive four-year period.

RELATED: Peace is Priority for Colombian President's Final Three Years

Santos said this proposal has not yet been brought to the negotiation table in Havana, where both parties are trying to put an end to the 50-year-old armed conflict that has claimed the lives of over 220,000 Colombian people and displaced millions.

Last month, Santos pledged to ‘de-escalate’ military action against the guerrillas if the rebels respect a unilateral ceasefire. The government's lead negotiator at peace talks said the federal government was committed to building trust towards a bilateral cease-fire.

RELATED: The Colombian Peace Negotiations: Prospects and Continuing Horrors

 So far, the peace talks have led to partial agreements on three of the five agenda points, including land reform, an end to the illegal drugs trade, and political participation for left-wing guerrillas. Discussions however, regarding victim reparations and the demobilization of combatants are ongoing and remain unresolved.

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