Farc leader confirms Colombia peace talks under way

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Farc have been fighting the Colombian government for nearly five decades

The leader of Colombia's biggest rebel group has confirmed that exploratory talks are under way with the government on reaching a peace settlement.

"We come to the table for dialogue without rancour or arrogance," said Farc leader Rodrigo Londono.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced last week that his government was holding peace talks with the rebels for the first time since 2002.

The Farc has been fighting the Colombian government since 1964.

Norway and Cuba

According to President Santos, the second biggest rebel group, the ELN, has also indicated a readiness to talk.

The statement by Mr Londono - also known as Timochenko - reportedly appeared on Monday morning in a video on the group's website, but the website was later inaccessible.

It was the first comment from the guerrilla group since last week's announcement.

According to Colombian media, talks will begin on 5 October and will take place in Oslo, Norway, and then the Cuban capital, Havana.

The Colombian government has said military operations against the rebels will continue as the talks proceed.

Colombian security forces have achieved a series of successes against the rebel group in recent years, killing some of its key leaders and arresting many others.

But officials estimate that some 8,000 Farc guerrillas are still fighting Latin America's longest-running insurgency.

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