At least 10 armed groups in Colombia agree to unilateral ceasefire

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At least 10 armed groups in Colombia, including former members of the FARC rebels who reject a peace deal and the Clan del Golfo crime gang, have agreed to participate in unilateral ceasefires, the government said on Wednesday.

President Gustavo Petro, who took office in August, has promised to seek “total peace” with armed groups, fully implementing a 2016 peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and meeting with dissidents who reject the accord, as well as criminal gangs.

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“Each group with its own identity, nature and motivation is expressing its disposition to be part of a total peace, in this exploration phase we’ve asked them not to kill, not to disappear people and not to torture,” Danilo Rueda, the government’s high peace commissioner, told journalists at an impromptu press conference. “We are moving ahead.”

Among the groups who agreed to the request are two FARC dissident groups - the Estado Mayor Central and Segunda Marquetalia - as well as the Clan del Golfo, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Auto-Defenses and others Rueda did not name.

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