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Colombia moves forward to resume peace talks with ELN

Article author:

Reuters

Reuters

Nelson Acosta and Luis Jaime Acosta

Havana/Bogota — Colombia resumes peace talks with Colombia's foreign minister, Cuba's left-wing guerrilla group National Liberation Army (ELN) Alvaro Leyva said in Havana, Cuba, on Thursday.

The visit comes just days after the inauguration of Colombia's new president, Gustavo Petro, a former member of his M-19 guerrilla group who pledged to establish "perfect peace" in Colombia. It was conducted.

"We would like to resume talks with the ELN in this land of peace in order to begin the path proposed by President Petro Urrego to achieve full peace," it said. Colombian Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva said in a statement. TV speech.

Representatives of the ELN, founded in 1964 by a radical Catholic priest, said previous talks initiated under the Juan Manuel Santos government were canceled in his 2019. Since then, he has remained in Cuba.

Leyva was joined by Colombia's new High Commissioner for Peace, Danilo Rueda, member of the Petro Union and chairman of the Congressional Peace Committee, Senator Ivan Cepeda, and special representative of the United Nations. He accompanied Carlos Ruiz Mathieu to Cuba. He is the Secretary General of Colombia and a representative of the Norwegian government.

"Regarding negotiations with the ELN, we see an opportunity to resume dialogue and move toward peace in a manner determined by the parties," said Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

A second statement will be made on Friday, Leiva added.

Rueda has the responsibility not only to explore the possibility of peace negotiations, but, among other means, to explore the possibility of establishing a bilateral ceasefire, Petro previously said. Stated.

His ELN, seen as radical and less centralized, said it was ready to talk to the new government after Petro won the election.

Petro said that the Santos administration would be able to pick up where it left off and would recognize the agreed protocol with the help of its guarantors Cuba, Chile, Venezuela, Norway and Brazil.

Talks between the ELN and the Santos government began in Ecuador and later moved to Cuba, but the ELN refused to end hostilities and killed 22 police officers in the Bogotá bomb attack.

An earlier attempt at negotiations with the ELN involved about 2,400 fighters and was called off by Santos' successor, Ivan Duque, for killing the cadet. It has been accused of raising money through drug trafficking, illegal mining, and kidnapping, but has not progressed, in part because of internal disagreements.

Many of his ELN leaders in Cuba are older than many of its members, and how much influence they exert over forces operating in the Colombian countryside. Not sure if you have it.

Petro also said he would fully implement the 2016 peace accord with the now-demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels, and that he would commit crimes in exchange for reduced sentences and exchange of information. promised to seek the disarmament of the group. about drug trafficking.

Although the peace agreement ended his FARC's role in the conflict, in many parts of Colombia, there was an increasing number of conflicts between his ELN and his FARC fighters, criminal gangs, and armed forces refusing the agreement. fighting continues in

The conflict in Colombia, which has lasted nearly 60 years, has killed 450,000 people between 1985 and 2018. and Raju Gopalakrishnan)