Colombian President Santos extends FARC ceasefire until end of year

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Thursday extended the ceasefire with the FARC guerilla group until the end of December in a bid to reach a final peace deal.

In a televised speech, Santos said the new date was not "an ultimatum or a deadline" for a comprehensive agreement welcomed by all sectors of Colombian politics and society.

However, dialogue could not be extended indefinitely, as "time conspires against peace and life," he added.

At the beginning of October, Colombians surprisingly voted against the proposed agreement in a referendum, throwing the future of the peace process in doubt.

The accord signed by Santos and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia leader Rodrigo Londono on September 26 was intended to end Colombia's five-decade war with the rebel group.

Opponents want to renegotiate the terms of the accord, saying it concedes too much to FARC, including guaranteed seats in Congress and reduced sentences for guerrillas who confess to war crimes.

The conflict between FARC and the government began in the 1960s over inequality and rural land rights.

Since then, the violence has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions.

Last update: Fri, 14/10/2016 - 13:37

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