New deaths spark fears for fragile Colombia ceasefire

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BOGOTA: The deaths of two Colombian guerrillas sparked fears this week that the country’s fragile peace process could be in peril after voters rejected an accord to end the half-century conflict. Colombian authorities said the two fighters of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) died on Sunday last week in a clash with the army. They were the FARC’s first fatalities since the government joined it in a bilateral ceasefire in August — though the rebels cast doubt on whether fighting had taken place. “This shows how fragile the bilateral ceasefire is,” said Ariel Avila, an analyst at the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation. The government fell just a few tens of thousands of votes short of passing a historic peace accord in the referendum. The FARC had gathered its members in special demobilization camps to await the final approval of the accord. But the “No” vote on October 2 threw their future into uncertainty. The government and the FARC announced a new deal on November 12, but the level of support it enjoys remains unclear.

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AFP

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