Colombia’s rebel leader says peace agreement impossible this year

BOGOTA: Top leader of Colombia’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), on Monday dismissed allegations that a peace agreement with the Colombian government would be signed this year.
“I am afraid not (to achieve a peace agreement this year). Of course we all want things to be sorted out as soon as possible, but it does not mean that we take it objectively,” FARC top leader Rodrigo Londono said in an interview published on the rebel group’s website.
The FARC leader, alias ‘Timoshenko’, said the work the Historical Commission has to carry out based on the conflict reconstruction, which will start on Aug. 21, will take four months, making the peace agreement impossible within the year.
“The Historical Commission will produce input points about victims for further discussion in the negotiating table. So if we only consider this deadlines, it is easy to conclude that it is not be possible for this year,” Timoshenko said. 
On Aug. 7, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos criticized the FARC during his presidential speech for destroying strategic infrastructure such as aqueducts in remote areas of Colombia, while the rebel group negotiators are promoting peace. However, Timoshenko reiterated that rebel group wants to “set a bilateral ceasefire, which the government of President Santos rejects.” 

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