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Colombian peace talks to take place in October in Norway

  • Colombia's peace talks with leftist FARC guerrillas will begin next month in Norway before moving to Cuba, President Juan Manuel Santos announced in a televised address on Tuesday.

    In response, FARC leader Rodrigo Londono, better known as Timochenko, issued a video message saying the rebels would carry on with negotiations until peace was achieved.

    Members of the armed forces and the police have criticized Santos’ announcement. However, the president has urged Colombians to give the peace process a chance.

    In a reference to previous negotiations, which ended unsuccessfully a decade ago, he maintained there would be no ceasefire and no safe haven for the rebels this time.

    Under Santos' predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, who was in power between 2002 and 2010, the Colombian government refused to hold talks with FARC.

    FARC was established nearly 50 years ago as a communist-inspired peasant army, which later came to depend on drug trafficking. Since 1964, it has been holed up in Colombia's vast jungles and imposed strict demands in past peace negotiations.