Colombian rebels repeat cease-fire call

The rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on Thursday repeated a call for a cease-fire with the government as the two sides were in negotiations for a peace deal to end five decades of fighting.

FARC delegate Tanja Nijmeijer, reading from a statement, said the government’s refusal to enter into a bilateral cease-fire has led to several violent incidents.

Recurrent clashes were disruptive to the negotiations, said the negotiator on the last day of the sixth round of peace talks in Havana, Cuba.

The FARC statement also contained six proposals in the areas of social and educational reform, including an initiative to establish free and universal elementary and middle-school education to eradicate illiteracy in the countryside.

FARC was founded in the early 1960s by peasant farmers demanding the fairer distribution of land and better living conditions. The government estimates the group counts between 8,000 and 9,000 members.

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