The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrilla group said Sunday it was declaring a 30-day cease-fire in Colombia effective on Dec. 15.
Pablo Catatumbo, a member of the FARC delegation holding peace talks in the Cuban capital with the Colombian government, read a statement from the guerrilla group’s leadership datelined in the mountains of Colombia.
“We are moving forward with ordering all of our guerrilla and militia units to cease hostilities for 30 days as of 0000 hours on Dec. 15, in response to a call from the nation,” the statement said.
FARC units will “remain on alert in case of any enemy operation, which will be responded to without any hesitation,” the FARC leadership said.
“We still hold out hope that the national government will respond to our gesture by ordering an end to its offensive,” the FARC said.
The cease-fire announcement comes a day after the FARC attacked a police station in Inza, a town in southeastern Colombia, killing nine people, including three civilians.
The FARC issued the statement at the closing session of the 17th round of peace talks with President Juan Manuel Santos’s administration in Havana.
The FARC, Colombia’s oldest and largest leftist guerrilla group, was founded in 1964 and operates across a large swath of the Andean nation.
The Colombian government has made fighting the FARC a top priority and has obtained billions in U.S. aid for counterinsurgency operations.
The FARC is on both the U.S. and EU lists of terrorist groups. Drug trafficking, extortion and kidnapping-for-ransom are the FARC’s main means of financing its operations.
This weekend Colombia’s army said eight people were killed in an attack Saturday by FARC guerrillas in Inza.