The main dissident group of former guerrillas, which refused to disarm when the the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) accepted a peace deal in 2016, suspended peace talks with the Colombia’s government on Sunday.
“Today, we declare the dialogue and the agenda suspended. We will begin an internal consultation process with our dialogue commission, we invite the national government to do the same,” the group called El Estado Mayor Central (EMC) said in a statement.
The negotiation, which began on October 16 in the city of Tibu in the country’s northeast, was suspended because, according to the guerrillas, “the State has totally failed to comply” with its commitments. However, the holdouts did not specify what these pledges were.
Earlier, the government and the dissidents agreed to observe a ceasefire until January 15. In its Sunday statement, the EMC group said that the truce is still in effect.
What is the goal of the talks?
Colombia’s government wants to demobilize some 3,500 dissident FARC fighters and put an end to their armed insurgency once and for all.
President Gustavo Petro took office last August vowing to bring “total peace” to a country ravaged by decades of civil war between the state and various leftist guerrilla groups, right-wing paramilitaries, as well as with drug traffickers.
The government wants to give the dissidents a second chance to lay down their arms after they rejected the 2016 peace dealwith the FARC, of which they were then a part.
Under the 2016 deal, some 7,000 FARC fighters surrendered their weapons and attempted to reintegrate into civilian life, although a faction led by guerrilla leader Nestor Gregorio Vera opted to continue fighting.