Colombian Defense Minister Gen. Rafael Samudio announced his resignation on Saturday, a day after President Virgilio Barco criticized him for calling on the army to crush the country's left-wing guerrillas.

Government officials who declined to be named said Barco accepted his resignation at a meeting late Friday night. They said the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, Gen. Manuel Jaime Guerrero Paz, will fill the post.Earlier in the week Samudio called on the army to launch a total offensive to wipe out the rebels and ruled out peace talks. Barco said on Friday such a confrontation with left-wing guerrillas was not a solution and a government peace plan remained on the table.