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Colombia to Continue Suspension of Air Raids Against FARC

FILE - Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, shown campaigning in April 2014, says the suspension of air raids against FARC forces will continue because they've maintained their cease-fire.

Colombia will extend its halt on bombing raids against Marxist FARC rebels for another month, President Juan Manuel Santos said Thursday.

Santos had ordered a one-month suspension of the air raids in March to abet talks aimed at ending 50 years of war. He said he decided to extend the bombing halt because the rebels of FARC, or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, were complying with the unilateral cease-fire they declared almost four months ago.

"The information given to me by the defense ministry and military leaders indicates that during this month the FARC have maintained and respected the unilateral cease-fire,'' Santos said during an event in Bogota. "For that reason, I have decided to extend for another month, and I will keep doing it in future.''

In March, Santos characterized the suspension as an effort to de-escalate the conflict while negotiations with FARC continued in Havana.

The government has been in peace talks with the FARC rebels for more than two years. The guerrillas declared the cease-fire Dec. 18.

Negotiators involved in the talks in Cuba have reached partial deals on land reform, rebels' participation in politics and an end to the illegal drug trade. They are now tackling victim reparations and rebel demobilization.