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Colombia halts air raids on FARC in major boost to peace drive

Colombian soldiers patrol in the department of Caqueta, FARC fiefdom located between the Andes range and the Amazonian rainforest in Colombia in November 2014Colombia will stop air raids on Marxist FARC rebels for a month, President Juan Manuel Santos said, a major stride in a peace process aimed at ending Latin America’s longest-running civil war. “To start the de-escalation of the conflict I have decided to order the minister of defense and armed forces commanders to stop bombing raids on FARC camps for a month,” Santos said in a television address. The FARC declared an indefinite, unilateral ceasefire on December 18, but Santos had until now rejected a bilateral ceasefire without a definitive peace deal. “As far as the FARC’s unilateral ceasefire… one has to acknowledge that they have been complying,” Santos said, adding that once the month suspension of bombing missions was up, the military would make an assessment on how to move forward.

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