Sunday, May 6, 2018

Colombia's gov't, ELN rebels to resume peace talks in Cuba

National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas
Colombia's government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas will resume peace talks in Cuba next week, the two sides announced on Saturday.

Ecuador had been hosting the talks, but declined to continue following a wave of violence along its border with Colombia.

The government and ELN delegations are to discuss "a new (bilateral) ceasefire" agreement to help promote an atmosphere of cooperation in seeking an end to five decades of fighting.

"After jointly examining our options for resuming the talks as soon as possible, we have decided to continue the fifth round in Havana starting next week," they said in a joint communique.

Both also thanked the various countries and organizations that had offered to host the talks to ensure the peace process continues.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos also broadcast the news, saying "it was decided to resume the negotiations with the ELN next week to seek a ceasefire and try to advance as much as possible in this process."

The talks had been taking place in Ecuador's capital Quito, with the ELN looking to strike a similar peace deal with the government as Colombia's disbanded Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) did in 2016. The FARC has since renounced violence and transformed into a political party.

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