Armando Rios First Front calls on other units to join in the fight for the taking of power by the people for the people
A unit of Colombias Farc rebel group has said it will not lay down arms or demobilize under a potential peace deal with the government, the first public sign of opposition to an accord from within the rebel ranks that may set back efforts to end five decades of war.
The statement by the Armando Rios First Front, a 200-strong guerrilla unit in the south-eastern jungle province of Guaviare, comes nearly two weeks after leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) and the government announced a ceasefire deal the result of more than three years of peace talks.
We have decided not to demobilize, we will continue the fight for the taking of power by the people for the people, independent of the decision taken by the rest of the members of the organization, the unit said on Wednesday.
The First Front, which held ex-presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three American contractors hostage, said the deals being reached at talks in Cuba would not solve the social and economic problems which first motivated the Marxist group to take up arms in 1964.
President Juan Manuel Santos has said the peace talks, aimed at ending a conflict which has killed more than 220,000 and displaced millions, may conclude as early as this month. Any deal will be put to Colombians for approval in a plebiscite vote.