MANAGUA, Nicaragua — President Daniel Ortega said today that the government will start a partial truce and withdraw troops to designated areas to open the way to a total cease-fire with U.S.-supported contra rebels.
"We are working on concrete actions to make known the first zones where the cease-fire will be declared," Ortega said. He said the locations of the designated areas will be announced but did not specify a timetable.
The Sandinista government also announced that Radio Catolica, the Roman Catholic Church radio station, could reopen immediately.
A communique read by presidential spokesman Manuel Espinoza said that to achieve "an effective cease-fire," Ortega had decided to postpone offensive military operations in part of the country and concentrate troops in designated areas.
It said the actions were unilateral and would allow the National Reconciliation Commission and other peace commissions in these regions "to explore the willingness of the counterrevolutionary chiefs (contras) to accept the cease-fire and if this is positive, to arrange the procedures for carrying it out."
The announcements were the latest in a series of actions to comply with a Central American peace plan.