Colombian Government, FARC to Start Peace Talks

By Dialogo
October 18, 2012

Colombia’s government and FARC rebels were set to formally launch peace talks in Norway on October 18, aimed at ending almost five decades of conflict that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Oslo, and later Havana, is hosting the first direct talks between the two sides in 10 years.

The government and the rebels were to hold a press conference in a hotel in Hurdal, a small town north of Oslo, to officially launch the negotiations.

The two sides met at a secret location in the morning to discuss technical and logistical issues and a Colombian official told AFP the meetings had been “respectful and cordial”.

The discussions are expected to focus on five main areas: land reform, the rebels’ future role in political life, a definitive end to hostilities, fighting the illegal drug trade and the situation of the victims.

The Colombian government estimates that some 600,000 people have been killed by armed groups and security forces in the country, and that 3.7 million Colombian citizens have been displaced in the conflict.

After their start in Norway, the talks will move to the Cuban capital next week.