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Colombia's FARC expects report on peace talk progress in May

English.news.cn   2013-05-01 05:17:53            

HAVANA, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Colombia's rebel group FARC said Tuesday that it expects a report by the end of May on the progress made so far in peace negotiations with the government.

"We hope to see white smoke surely before the end of May," said Jesus Santrich, a delegation member of the FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, referring to the Vatican's method of signaling that a decision has been made in papal selection.

"I think some report should be issued to give greater assurances to the Colombian people, because without assurances the Colombians can surely lose optimism," said Santrich.

Before the day's round of talks began at Havana's Convention Palace, Santrich said the level of "optimism is running high" in Colombia regarding the talks' success in brokering a deal to end five decades of fighting between the rebels and the armed forces.

The outcome of the talks should not "fall below that expectation," said Santrich, urging the public to await the results "with patience and conviction."

Also on Tuesday, the FARC issued a statement acknowledging the support of the United Nations Human Rights Council in the peace talks.

The peace talks began on Nov. 19, 2012 in Havana, with agrarian reform and rural development being the main point of contention between the warring parties.

Other issues on the agenda include: the insurgent group's disarming and transition into a political movement or party, reparations for victims of the conflict and the problem of drug trafficking, which has remained a source of funding for the rebels.

The FARC, founded by landless peasant farmers who took up arms to fight for land reform, currently has between 8,000 to 9,000 members, according to official figures. Some 200,000 people have died in the fighting and many thousands more have been displaced.

Editor: yan
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