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HomeNewsColombia and ELN rebels start shifting to restart peace talks

Colombia and ELN rebels start shifting to restart peace talks



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HAVANA — Colombia’s new authorities and members of the nation’s final guerrilla group took steps Friday towards restarting peace talks that had been suspended three years in the past in Cuba.

After a gathering between representatives of each side in Havana, Colombia’s nationwide peace commissioner, Danilo Rueda, stated the federal government would take the required “judicial and political steps” to make peace talks potential with the Nationwide Liberation Military, generally known as the ELN.

Observers think about it doubtless that these steps will embrace lifting arrest warrants for ELN negotiators who’re at present dwelling in exile in Cuba.

The administration of newly inaugurated President Gustavo Petro will have interaction with the ELN delegation and considers them to be official representatives of the insurgent group, Rueda stated.

“We imagine that the ELN has the identical need for peace because the Colombian authorities,” Rueda stated in his assertion. “And hope that they’re listening to the various voices in numerous territories who’re looking for a peaceable answer to this armed battle.”

Peace talks between Colombia’s earlier authorities and the ELN had been terminated in 2019 after the rebels set off a automotive bomb at a police academy in Bogota and killed greater than 20 cadets.

Following that incident, Colombian authorities issued arrest warrants for ELN leaders in Cuba for the peace negotiations. However Cuba refused to extradite them, arguing that doing so would compromise its standing as a impartial nation within the battle and break with diplomatic protocols.

The US responded by putting Cuba on its record of state sponsors of terrorism.

Petro has stated he desires to start out peace talks with the nation’s remaining armed teams in an effort to cut back violence in rural areas and convey lasting peace to the nation of fifty million individuals.

A 2016 peace deal between the federal government and the nations largest guerrilla military, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, helped to cut back kidnappings, homicides and compelled displacement.

However violence has picked up in some elements of the nation as FARC holdouts, drug trafficking teams and the ELN combat over cocaine smuggling routes, unlawful mines and different sources that had been deserted by the FARC.

In July, prison teams staged virtually 90 assaults on the police and army, killing 13 law enforcement officials, in response to CERAC, a assume tank that screens violence in Colombia. That made it some of the harmful months for Colombia’s armed forces prior to now 20 years.

The ELN, which was based within the Sixties, has lengthy been designated by the U.S. State Division as a overseas terrorist group. The group has an estimated 2,500 fighters in Colombia and likewise runs drug trafficking routes, extortion rackets and unlawful mines in neighboring Venezuela.

Rueda reported from Bogota, Colombia.

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