THE Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People Army (FARC-EP) has accused generals in the Colombian armed forces of manoeuvres to slow down on going peace negotiations in the Cuban capital, Havana.
While during all these days the government side has kept its lips tightly closed, yesterday at the close of the sixth day of deliberations, a joint communiqué was issued to the effect that:
"General Agreement pursuant to the termination of the conflict and building a stable and lasting peace the parties have agreed to launch the first space of negotiations by convening a forum called Comprehensive Agrarian Development Policy (Territorial Approach) in Bogota Colombian capital on 17, 18 and 19 December."
The forum's objective was to facilitate receipt of input and proposals from citizens useful for the ongoing negotiation on land reforms which is the thorny item to resolve the five decades old Colombian conflict.
The negotiating bureau of the FARC-EP and government of the Republic of Colombia called on the United Nations and the National University of Colombia plus the Monitoring Centre of Peace Dialogue to convene that forum and serve as rapporteurs of those discussions.
The parties asked those entities to send the conclusions of the forum to the bureau of conversations by January 8, 2013.
Briefing both local and international journalists at Havana Convention Centre ahead of the sixth day of "Dialogue for Peace", FARC negotiating team member Ruben Zamora accused Colombian defence minister Juan Carlos Pinzon, Commander General of the military forces General Alejandro Navas Ramon and Army commander General Sergio Mantilla of spearheading illegal military operations aimed at slowing the ongoing peace talks in Havana.
Zamora said the mockery attacks that took place on November 20 in the rural areas of the municipal Caloto Cauca were carried out by government troops.
"Army forces of the Apollo Task in a so called 'honour of back plan' carried out a number of mockery combats in the rural areas of municipal Caloto Cauca and tried to make it look like they were at war with the FARC-EP," Zamora said.
He said on the material day, none of FARC members operated in that area.
Zamora said military officials used all possible means of communication to start a campaign of feverish propaganda making the FARC-EP responsible for the action.
He said the Colombian military officials claimed that FARC units of the sixth front had failed to fulfill the rebel movement's unilateral ceasefire it adopted upon commencement of peace talks in Havana as announced by negotiating leader commander Ivan Marquez.
Zamora said in effecting the unilateral ceasefire, the FARC did not say it would fail to defend its positions if attacked by Colombian forces.
"As of our unilateral ceasefire we made it clear that it refers to our offensive actions against police and other government troops but the FARC-EP hold the legitimate right to self defence and will act in accordance to this principle if our positions are attacked," he said.
"We therefore request verification of our performance and, or adherence to the ceasefire by agricultural, ethnic, social and national and international human rights organisations."
Zamora said the military strategy of using false-positive television was old fashioned and as such neither the peasants nor the natives of Cauca would give them an apex of credibility.
"We ratify our commitment in search for peace and social justice," he said. "We manifest our total observance to the unilateral ceasing of offensive actions ordered by the Secretariat of the FARC-EP which specifically refers to offensive military actions against government security forces and sabotage acts against public or private infrastructure."
Zamora said any form of attacks by the government troops on guerrilla units had its own legitimate action of defence and therefore they would act in conformity with that principle.
"We are calling on all officials of the armed forces, patriotic soldiers and policemen to help in the search for political solutions to end this conflict…We should take advantage of this hour so that together we can achieve the dream and hope for all Colombians," said Zamora.
The current peace talks that started on November 19 are aimed at ending the 50-year-old armed social conflict in Colombia.
The government of Juan Manuel Santos has said it would not call for a ceasefire while negotiating with the left-wing guerrillas.
President Santos maintains any ceasefire would be the result of successful peace talks.
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