Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Colombia rebels offer ceasefire for talks

Soldiers take cover during fighting with leftist rebels in Caloto, southern Colombia (AP/Carlos Julio Martinez)

Colombia's second largest leftist rebel group is offering to halt offensive actions if the government agrees to peace talks.

The offer from the National Liberation Army comes in a communique published by an activist group led by former Senator Piedad Cordoba.

In response, Vice President Angelino Garzon has repeated the government's long-held stance - halt violence and the government will consider the offer.

The rebel group counts at least 3,000 fighters and has stepped up attacks the past two years.

It held on-and-off exploratory talks in Cuba with Colombia's previous government.

Colombia's main rebel group is the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. It has about three times more fighters and operates much more widely.

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