FARC is Putting Pressure on President Santos of Colombia
Michiyo Tanabe and Helmet Joachim Schmidt
Modern Tokyo Times
FARC have announced a very important unilateral ceasefire thereby putting more pressure on President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia to follow suit. The conflict in Colombia is responsible for the deaths of over 200,000 people based on many decades of conflict. Therefore, while Santos continues to remain skeptical, it is clear that increased pressure will be put on the leader of Colombia to match FARC.
The movement with leftist ideals made it clear that the ceasefire is indefinite on the condition that the armed forces of Colombia doesn’t attack FARC. It is reported that FARC is hoping that a genuine truce will lead to an armistice based on mutual respect.
Currently, Santos is indicating that FARC will utilize the peace process in order to obtain new military arms. Likewise, Santos fears that FARC will regroup the organization based on its current weakness when compared to the past. However, Santos also yearns for a real breakthrough whereby other opportunities have collapsed.
FARC issued a statement saying: “We have resolved to declare a unilateral ceasefire and end hostilities for an indefinite period of time, which should be transformed into an armistice.”
Santos, highlighting the complexity of the situation, states: “I don’t want to go into history as another ingenuous president who constructed a peace process that fails in the end, I hope not but it can fail. And this allows the guerrillas to end up stronger and the State weakened. I can not accept this.”
Despite this, the people of Colombia on the whole desire a fresh start. After all, the bloody conflict is zapping the energy and future of Colombia because of decade after decade of military conflict. Santos, therefore, fully understands the magnitude of the situation. Likewise, Santos knows that FARC is increasing the political pressure on the current leader of Colombia.
The Economist says: “Mr Santos did not immediately react. The government can hardly reject the FARC’s gesture but it will have to weigh its response carefully. Suspending attacks on guerrilla units would be tantamount to agreeing to the bilateral ceasefire which Mr Santos has vowed not to declare. But the government could restrict the army to a defensive stance.”
It is hoped that the government of Colombia and FARC will finally come to the conclusion that a new chapter in this nation is badly needed. Of course, many difficulties remain but at least FARC is moving in the right direction.
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