Colombia, ELN resume talks
Feb. 14, 2023
Colombia's government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) resumed peace talks in Mexico City. Leaders of the negotiations on both sides said the talks would focus on a bilateral ceasefire and agreements to get humanitarian aid to areas of Colombia most affected by conflict, reports Reuters.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro promised to pursue “total peace” with the country’s armed groups. But his efforts suffered a blow earlier this year when the ELN denied the existence of a government-announced ceasefire.
Success in the talks hinges on whether a ceasefire agreement is reached in the three weeks of talks launched yesterday, according to El País.
Chief government delegate Otty Patino said at an opening ceremony that a ceasefire should be not only "a decrease in armed confrontations" but also "a reduction in hostilities against the civilian population and illegal activities that cause damage and violence." (AFP)
But heading into the new round of talks this week, recent statements have reflected ongoing tensions between the two sides, reports Al Jazeera.
The ELN rejects being equated with the country’s armed criminal groups, notes El País.
Mexico is one of the guarantor nations for the talks between the Petro administration and Colombia’s largest remaining guerrilla group, along with Norway, Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil and Chile.
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