the government and the ELN guerrillas resumed peace negotiations

It is in Venezuela that the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) have resumed peace negotiations, which were frozen due in particular to clashes between the guerrillas and other armed groups.

“The two peace delegations began discussions in Caracas yesterday [samedi] »declared, Sunday April 14, the delegation of the administration of Colombian President Gustavo Petro, on the social network “The work continues”added the delegation.

The two parts “discussed proposals for participation which fuel a common vision of peace, around the political regime, the environmental situation and the economic model”for its part, posted the representation of the left-wing guerrillas.

Read also | In Colombia, agreement between the ELN and the government to suspend kidnappings

The ELN confirmed, on April 6, the formal suspension of the round of negotiations it had been carrying out with the government since November 2022 in Venezuela, Cuba and Mexico, while talks were to begin on April 8. She had requested that this week’s meeting be considered “an extraordinary meeting”. The guerrillas accused the Colombian government of having a “double peace policy”believing that the dialogue was in a ” critical state “.

Venezuela supports negotiations

The peace delegation from Bogota had underlined “the worrying humanitarian tragedy in Arauca”, Colombian department on the border with Venezuela, where clashes are taking place. She said she hoped “find a solution to put an end to violence between actors, which primarily affects unarmed civilians”.

Tuesday April 9, after a meeting with President Gustavo Petro, in Caracas, his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro, reiterated the ” will “ of his country to support the negotiations. In a joint statement, the two leaders reaffirmed “mutual commitment to supporting peace”.

In recent months, the process has been disrupted by “armed strikes” – the rebels order residents to lock themselves in their homes –, the kidnapping of the father of Liverpool footballer Luis Diaz, as well as clashes between different groups.

Read also | Colombia partially suspends truce with FARC dissidents

According to Colombian military intelligence, the ELN is made up of some 5,800 fighters with a vast network of collaborators. Despite central command, its fronts are militarily autonomous, which experts say makes negotiations difficult.

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Gustavo Petro, Colombia’s first left-wing president, and himself a former guerrilla, is banking on a negotiated global solution after six decades of violence. In 2016, a historic peace agreement resulted in the disarmament of most of the FARC, another Colombian rebellion movement.

The World with AFP

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