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News > Colombia

Colombian State and ELN Extend Bilateral Ceasefire

  • Colombian state delegate Vera Grabe (R) and ELN representative (L), Havana, Cuba, Feb. 6, 2024.

    Colombian state delegate Vera Grabe (R) and ELN representative (L), Havana, Cuba, Feb. 6, 2024. | Photo: X/ @DelegacionGob

Published 6 February 2024

The National Liberation Army committed to suspend "economic detentions" during the ceasefire.

On Monday night, representatives of President Gustavo Petro and the National Liberation Army (ELN) announced a new six-month extension of the bilateral ceasefire.


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"We are making serious progress on the ceasefire, social participation, humanitarian issues, and the work related to developing an intense peace pedagogy in the Colombian society," said Senator Ivan Cepeda, who is a member of the government delegation.

The delegations will announce these agreements at the closing of the sixth round of talks, scheduled for 10:00 local time, after two weeks of intense negotiations in Havana, Cuba.

During the 6-month truce, the ELN committed to "unilaterally and temporarily suspend economic detentions," which is an unprecedented decision by the guerrilla group.

The text reads, "Excellent news for peace in Colombia! The extension of the ceasefire and the suspension of economic kidnappings are a fundamental step towards reconciliation and the end of the armed conflict."

"The progress of this commitment is linked to the progress of the whole set of agreements and the resolution of critical factors affecting the ceasefire."

Extending the ceasefire was the key point of the peace negotiations in Cuba. Both parties put in writing at the end of the fifth round held in Mexico that they had the will to maintain it.

So far, the ceasefire has been limited to prohibiting offensive actions against the other party and any action not allowed by international humanitarian law.

On August 3, 2023, the parties began the ceasefire, which has allowed for a reduction in violence in Colombia, although there have been ups and downs that have generated uncertainty about the future of the peace process. This happened, for example, when the ELN kidnapped Manuel Diaz, the father of Liverpool footballer Luis Diaz.


Ivan Sepeda
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