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Colombian rebels announce cease-fire

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2012 file photo, Ivan Marquez, chief negotiator of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, answers questions at a press conference at the headquarters of the Cuban agency Prensa Latina in Havana, Cuba. The two chief negotiators didn't shake hands or look at one another as talks to end Colombia's stubborn five-decade-old conflict were inaugurated in Norway last month. On Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, Marquez, a rebel former seminarian and Humberto de la Calle, a sage veteran of Colombian politics, sit down to negotiate in earnest in Havana. (AP Photo/Jorge Perez, Prensa Latina, File)

AP

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2012 file photo, Ivan Marquez, chief negotiator of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, answers questions at a press conference at the headquarters of the Cuban agency Prensa Latina in Havana, Cuba. The two chief negotiators didn't shake hands or look at one another as talks to end Colombia's stubborn five-decade-old conflict were inaugurated in Norway last month. On Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, Marquez, a rebel former seminarian and Humberto de la Calle, a sage veteran of Colombian politics, sit down to negotiate in earnest in Havana. (AP Photo/Jorge Perez, Prensa Latina, File)

HAVANA — The top negotiator for Colombia’s main opposition group announced a unilateral cease-fire on Monday, before heading into much-anticipated peace talks with government counterparts in the Cuban capital of Havana.

Ivan Marquez said the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia would stop all military operations and acts of sabotage against government and private property until Jan. 20.

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Marquez said the move was ‘‘aimed at strengthening the climate of understanding necessary for the parties to start a dialogue.’’

There was no immediate response to the rebel overture from the government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, and government negotiators in Havana also refused to comment before heading into a convention center where talks are being held.

But analysts said the move puts pressure on Colombia to reciprocate in some way. Santos has so far refused to consider a cease-fire during the talks.

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