Colombian president rejects FARC ceasefire
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Colombian president rejects FARC ceasefire

Colombia’s government is rebuffing a unilateral truce declared by the country’s largest rebel group as unacceptable.

President Juan Manuel Santos said in a statement Thursday that he can’t accept the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s demand that Latin American nations be allowed to verify the ceasefire, saying such outside vigilance would have to wait until a peace deal is reached.

The FARC rebels said Wednesday they would refrain from staging any more attacks as of December 20 as long as they aren’t targeted by Colombia’s military. Santos has long rejected such an option and reiterated Thursday his pledge to guarantee the safety of all Colombians.

Read more: Colombia’s FARC announces indefinite, unilateral ceasefire

Nevertheless, he says his government values the rebels’ gesture as a way to begin de-escalating hostilities and forge a peace agreement being negotiated the past two years in Cuba.