Updated on June 23 at 2 p.m. ET
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Timoleon Jimenez, the head of FARC, the left-wing rebel group, announced in Havana a historic cease-fire in the more than five-decade-long conflict.
The agreement could lead to a peace deal between the two sides; the conflict has killed more than 200,000 people.
Signs of a possible end to the bloody conflict emerged last fall when the Colombian and FARC leaders announced—after three years of talks—their intention to sign a definitive peace agreement within six months. The efforts came after multiple appeals for peace in the country from Pope Francis.
In March, the government also announced it will begin talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), Colombia’s second-largest rebel group.
As my colleague J. Weston Phippen previously reported:
[The] announcement came as the Colombian government is nearing a final peace deal with FARC. Those talks are now centered on how FARC’s rebels will disarm—an issue that is likely to come up with ELN, too. Analysts see the prospect of a peace deal with ELN as a sweetener to FARC to disarm and reach an agreement with the government.