A major midnight ceasefire on Sunday is set to end a 52-year-old war between the Colombian state and FARC rebels.
The commander of Colombia’s biggest rebel movement said Sunday its fighters will permanently cease hostilities with the government beginning with the first minute of Monday, as a result of their peace accord ending one of the world’s longest-running conflicts.
Rodrigo Londono, leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, made the announcement in Havana, where the two sides negotiated for four years before announcing the peace deal Wednesday.
“Never again will parents be burying their sons and daughters killed in the war,” said Londono, who also known as Timoshenko. “All rivalries and grudges will remain in the past.”
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced on Friday that his military would cease attacks on the FARC beginning Monday.
Colombia is predictable to hold a national referendum Oct 2 to give voters the possibility to approve the deal for ending a half-century of political violence that has claimed more than 220,000 lives and driven more than 5 million people from their homes
After the agreement is signed, FARC guerrillas are supposed to begin handing their weapons over to United Nations-sponsored monitors.
The territorial and ideological conflict has drawn in various left- and right-wing armed groups and gangs.
It has left some 260,000 dead, 45,000 missing and 6.9 million people uprooted from their homes.