MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP) have ordered all their units to observe a ceasefire effective Monday, the rebels said in a statement.
Colombian armed forces have been fighting FARC, the Colombian Communist Party military wing and the country’s largest rebel group, since 1964. The two sides have been holding peace talks in Cuba since 2012.
“The ceasefire will start on [July] 20, at 00:00,” the FARC statement read, adding that the unilateral ceasefire will be verified by outside organizations.
The group also released a Colombian soldier it had captured earlier this month as a gesture of goodwill.
FARC enforced its fifth ceasefire last December, followed by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ announcement to temporarily halt fighting in March.
Progress in peace talks between FARC and the Colombian government advanced in June with an agreement on the creation of a joint Truth Commission.
The commission is tasked with gathering testimony from victims and witnesses of Colombia’s civil war. However, it is unable to use the information to bring up criminal charges against FARC members, government troops or other fighters.
As many as 220,000 people have been killed as a result of the armed conflict.