Colombia peace talks should be inspired by Mandela: John Kerry

Posted on Dec 16 2013 - 1:03pm by Editor
Secretary of State John Kerry (Photo: AP)

The late South African leader Nelson Mandela is an example of reconciliation for Colombia’s ongoing peace talks with rebel group FARC, said US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday.

Kerry made the comments on the day the unilateral FARC ceasefire was set to begin, with the peace talks between the government and Colombia’s largest armed group to recommence on Tuesday.

MORE: FARC announces 30-day ceasefire, Santos says offensive continues

“Everyone should see beyond this conflict that has been around so long and find a common future,” said the US official in an interview.

“I think the greatest thing about Nelson Mandela was the complete and total absence of hatred and vision for the future rather than the past.”

When peace talks began in November 2012, there was no ceasefire in place and President Juan Manuel Santos said negotiations should take “months, not years.”  But now talks to the end a conflict that has killed at least 220,000 Colombians since 1964 have gone for more than a year and only two of the six peace points have been ratified.

Colombian President Santos attended the funeral of Nelson Mandela, after the the revered African leader died two weeks ago.

MORE: Santos mourns death of Nelson Mandela

Sources

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