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Rebel Commanders in Colombia Order Permanent Cease-Fire

  • Ken Schwartz

Commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC, Rodrigo Londono, better known as Timochenko or Timoleon Jimenez talks to the press, accompanied by Ivan Marquez, right, chief negotiator of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and Pablo Catatumbo, left, chief of the FARC's western bloc, in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, August 28, 2016.

Commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC, Rodrigo Londono, better known as Timochenko or Timoleon Jimenez talks to the press, accompanied by Ivan Marquez, right, chief negotiator of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and Pablo Catatumbo, left, chief of the FARC's western bloc, in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, August 28, 2016.

FARC rebel commanders in Colombia have ordered a final cease-fire at the stroke of midnight Sunday (0500 UTC Monday) as part of a permanent peace deal with the government.

"Never again will parents be burying their sons and daughters killed in the war," the rebel leader known as Timoshenko said. "All rivalries and grudges will remain in the past."

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos already had announced that the military will lay down its arms against the rebels Monday.

A peace deal was reached this past week in Havana aimed at finally ending 52 years of fighting between the Marxist rebel group and various Colombian governments.

The deal is expected to be put to a referendum next month.

What began as a small peasant uprising in 1964 grew into one of Latin America's longest and bloodiest conflicts, leaving more than 220,000 people dead and driving more than 5 million people from their homes.

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