FARC Sets Permanent Cease-Fire Under Colombia Peace Deal

HAVANA (AP) -
Commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC, Rodrigo Londono, better known as Timochenko or Timoleon Jimene,  talks to the press, in Havana, Cuba, Sunday,  (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC, Rodrigo Londono, better known as Timochenko or Timoleon Jimene, talks to the press, in Havana, Cuba, on Sunday. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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 (FARC), 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 is 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 expected to hold a national referendum Oct. 2 to give voters the chance 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.