The Colombian civil society organization made this request after the unilateral declaration of a ceasefire by the National Liberation Army, as a humanitarian measure due to the situation caused by COVID-19.
El CNPRC, that groups 36 social sectors, encouraged Duque’s government to find a different approach to the conflict with ELN after their hostilities ceased in March. Monsignor Hector Fabio Henao, CNPRC’s spokesperson, expressed: “As an advisory body to the National Government, we recommend that the President of the Republic work towards a bilateral ceasefire and cessation of hostilities. Colombia requires gestures of peace and reconciliation. We welcome the ELN's announcement of a unilateral ceasefire for one month, which we hope will be extended for a longer period.”
The organization's representative also referred to the current crisis due to COVID-19 spreading. Monsignor Henao advocated for preventing domestic violence during the enforced quarantine and other social isolation measures implemented to stop virus.
#Atención | El Consejo Nacional de Paz, Reconciliación y Convivencia (CNPRC), celebra el cese de fuego unilateral por parte el grupo guerrillero Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN). pic.twitter.com/7CUE1MqjUX
"The National Council for Peace, Reconciliation and Coexistence (CNPRC) welcomes the unilateral ceasefire by the guerrilla group National Liberation Army (ELN)."
"The new social and family dynamics resulting from compulsory preventive isolation may exacerbate problems of coexistence, produce an increase in domestic and gender-based violence, as well as a further deterioration in the quality of life in large sectors of Colombian society. For this reason, the institutions must adopt measures to guarantee coexistence," affirmed the Monsignor.
Henao seized the occasion to advocate for kidnapped release in Arauca and Cauca regions and children's withdrawal from armed groups. He also expressed his gratitude to health workers who labor during the pandemic.