Nobel Peace Prize winner and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has extended a ceasefire with FARC rebels in a bid to keep alive his nation’s hopes for an end to decades of strife.
The ceasefire was due to expire at the end of October. President Santos has extended it until the end of the year as he tries to breathe new life into a peace deal that was narrowly rejected by Colombians in a referendum earlier this month.
“I have made the decision to extend the bilateral ceasefire until the December 31,” Santos said, according to state-run news agency reports.
Santos, who won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to cement an agreement, is attempting to end the rebel group’s bloody, 52-year battle against the state.
An estimated 220,000 people have been killed in the conflict which has brought terror, misery and death to generations of Colombians — and displaced as many as 5 million people.
The armed guerrilla group seized territory, attacked government forces and pulled off high-profile kidnappings.
The FARC also hijacked planes and made millions trafficking cocaine, as well as forcing children to become soldiers in its war.
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SOURCE: CNN, Pete Burn