Colombia’s leftist guerrilla militia confirmed Tuesday that it has halted purchasing weapons and munitions as a show of good faith while negotiating a peace deal with the Colombian government to end more than 50 years of civil war, Reuters reported. Rodrigo Londono, leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), announced the decision in a tweet to Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos.
FARC leaders and Colombian government officials have been in peace talks in Havana, Cuba amidst the unilateral ceasefire the FARC launched in July.
“On Sept. 30 I gave the order to suspend the purchase of arms and munitions to all levels of the FARC,” Londono, who is popularly known as Timochenko, wrote on Twitter.
— Timoleón Jiménez (@Timochenko_FARC) November 10, 2015
The parties have been in peace talks since 2012, but launched a new round of negotiations in September and signed an accord creating a tribunal that would impose sentences on FARC fighters. The rebels and the government are expected to reach a landmark peace deal within six months from the September accord.
The government’s stipulations dictate that the FARC must admit to committing crimes and human rights violations and accept punishment, and the FARC has demanded that it be granted the right to political participation. On Monday, Minister of Interior Juan Fernando Cristo said the Colombian government would view an arms suspension as a precursor to granting the FARC political participation rights.
The FARC has operated as a terrorist group in Colombia since the 1960s, and in the past has denied criminal accusations against its members in order to prevent jail time. The civil war has killed more than 220,000 Colombians and displaced millions.
President Santos has acknowledged the possibility of a bilateral ceasefire as early as Jan. 1 2016 if both sides can reach an agreement regarding the rights of victims, TeleSUR English reported.