Thousands of people marched in Colombia demanding that the peace deal reached between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) and the government be revived, which was rejected in a referendum held on 2 October. Colombians carrying white flowers rallied through Bogota on Wednesday (12 October) demanding political leaders to uphold the agreement signed by the two parties.
The development comes after Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on 4 October that the ceasefire agreement reached with Farc rebels would end on 31 October. His government and rebel leaders have been struggling to find a solution to end the 52-year conflict as voters rejected the peace deal.
At the peace march, 64-year-old Carmenza Pinto – who was displaced by the war – said, "All Colombians must work on building peace. We must strive for a better future and forgiveness is the best example we can give."
Farc chief Rodrigo Londono aka Timoleon "Timochenko" Jimenez said on Wednesday that he was hopeful about the revival of the deal, but refused to re-negotiate some elements of the accord.
Timochenko had earlier said that he had held meetings with negotiators in the Cuban capital of Havana, to try to find a way around the impasse.
"This is a conflict that has gone on for many years and opened deep wounds. We must join forces and together apply healing balm to the wounds. We will have good news soon," the Farc head told Caracol Radio.
Earlier in September, the Colombian government and Farc rebels had signed a historic peace agreement at a ceremony attended by 2,500 foreign dignitaries and special guests, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry. The accord was meant to end the five decades long bloody conflict that has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions.