In Colombia, the ELN guerrillas contradict the announcement of a ceasefire agreement

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The National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas on Tuesday denied any bilateral ceasefire agreement with the government in Colombia. The authorities had however affirmed 48 hours earlier a truce of six months taking effect from January 1.

Contrary to what had been announced, the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) denied, on Tuesday, January 3, any ceasefire with the Colombian government.

“The ELN delegation has not discussed with the government of Gustavo Petro any proposal for a bilateral ceasefire, so there is still no agreement on this issue,” said this rebel organization in a statement posted on social networks and signed by its “central command”.

On Sunday, the government announced that it had concluded a six-month “bilateral” ceasefire with the five main armed groups operating in Colombia, including the ELN, with which it is engaged in new peace negotiations.

“We have repeatedly stated that the ELN only complies with what is discussed and agreed at the dialogue table in which we participate. A unilateral government decree cannot be accepted as (constituting) an agreement”, asserts in its press release the last guerrilla constituted as such still active in this country.

“During the last round of negotiations which took place in Venezuela and which ended on December 12, only what had been announced (…) was the subject of an agreement”, while “adjustments were made to the agenda and submitted for consultation, both to the president (Petro) and to the central command” of the ELN, explains the latter.

A next round of negotiations is due to take place soon, on a date not yet known, in Mexico, where “it was agreed to complete the adjustment of the agenda”, still according to the ELN.

“Once we have concluded what is planned, we are ready to discuss the bilateral ceasefire proposal and to examine the conditions that will make an agreement possible”, adds the far left guerrilla, saying “interpret “the announcement of the government “as (being) a proposal to be considered in the next cycle”.

With AFP

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