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FARC conflict requires negotiations

BRUSSELS, March 26 (UPI) -- Ending the conflict with the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia will require political negotiations, an International Crisis Group report said.

The Belgium-based non-governmental organization released a report Thursday calling on Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to use a political negotiation strategy, in addition to the ongoing military campaign targeting the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by its Spanish initials FARC, the Crisis Group reported.

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The report, "Ending Colombia's FARC Conflict: Dealing the Right Card," said that despite the military success in dismantling much of FARC and reducing its size to about half of what it was when Uribe took office in 2002, Crisis Group officials said the conflict remains a long way from ending with only a military plan.

"FARC's military capacity has been weakened, and it has lost almost all political support in Colombia as well as abroad," Markus Schultze-Kraft, Crisis Group Latin America program director, said in a statement.

"However, its resilience should not be underestimated. The FARC is not close to defeat and, under Alfonso Cano, is having some success in adapting to the changed strategic scenario and regaining internal cohesion."

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