On Wednesday, Interior Minister Alfonso Prada announced the suspension of the decree that established a ceasefire with the National Liberation Army (ELN), since this rebel group stated that it has not reached any agreement with the representatives of President Gustavo Petro.
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“We made the decision to suspend the legal effects of the decree until they are reactivated in the next few days,” Prada explained.
This declaration comes a day after the Petro administration released decrees setting the parameters for the six-month bilateral ceasefire with five armed groups, including the ELN.
“We invite you to declare a verifiable truce,” Prada told the ELN, recalling that this organization had raised on several occasions the importance of advancing towards a bilateral ceasefire.
"On Dec. 19, after declaring an unilateral ceasefire, such organization requested that the government act in accordance with its desire for peace and study the possibility of responding with a bilateral ceasefire," the Interior Minister pointed out.
In recent days, however, the ELN said that it "has not discussed with the Petro administration any proposal for a bilateral ceasefire. Therefore, there is still no agreement on this matter."
In this sense, the ELN emphasized that it will only comply with what is agreed upon in the dialogue, which will soon be restarted in Mexico. The first rounds of negotiations between the Colombian State and the ELN concluded in December in Caracas, Venezuela.
Interior Minister Prada confirmed that the dissidences of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia known as "the Second Marquetalia", as well as the paramilitary groups the Gaitanistas Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC) and the Sierra Nevada Self-Defense Forces, ratify their commitment to keep the ceasefire.