Timoleon Jimenez, rebel commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), is seen in this still image taken from video released on an internet web page on September 3, 2012.
(Photo : Reuters/Farc Video/Handout)
Colombia's leftist FARC rebels said on Thursday they would seek a ceasefire next month at the start of peace talks with the government aimed at ending half a century of war.
They also unveiled part of the negotiating team for the talks, which includes rebel spokesman and senior commander Ivan Marquez, and said the negotiations would begin October 8 in Norway before moving to Cuba.
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"We're going to propose a ceasefire immediately when we sit at the table," said Mauricio Jaramillo, a senior rebel commander at a press conference in Havana. "We have always wanted peace."
The proposal could get the talks off to a difficult start because Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said there would be no ceasefire during the negotiations.
A decade ago in the last attempt at ending Latin America's longest-running insurgency, the rebels used a ceasefire to rebuild their military operations and establish a multibillion-dollar drug-trafficking network.
Santos unveiled his negotiating team on Wednesday, saying it would be led by former Vice President Humberto de la Calle.
The FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, came into existence in 1964 and operates out of remote locations in the South American country.