Colombia government and ELN rebels extend ceasefire for 7 days News
© WikiMedia (Staff Sgt. Osvaldo Equite)
Colombia government and ELN rebels extend ceasefire for 7 days

On Monday, the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) announced that they would extend the current ceasefire by a week. Meanwhile, delegates from both sides continue to discuss policies that could ensure a longer period of peace.

The statement says:

Taking into account that today, January 29, 2024, the CFBNT (bilateral, national and temporary ceasefire) expires, it will be continued until February 5, 2024 under the conditions of Agreement No. 10 of June 9, 2023 and the protocols that have governed it until now.

The government and the ELN also agreed to continue the evaluation of the national and temporary ceasefire (CFBNT), after which an extension will be signed that will strengthen, develop and include related aspects. Such aspects are the cessation of economic extortive kidnappings by the ELN, along with the revival of societal participation processes and the establishment of a national network for participation.

The armed conflict in Colombia, which officially began in 1964 with the formation of two separate guerrilla groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the ELN, is a direct result of deep social and political tensions. Historical income inequality and poverty, especially among the rural population, have led to systematic political violence. Opposition parties and civic activists who protested the status quo were targeted for repression. This led to the emergence of guerrilla organizations and a direct escalation of the conflict without political solutions.

The National Liberation Army (ELN), Colombia’s main rebel group, was founded in 1964 by students inspired by the Cuban Revolution. The organization’s core principles revolve around the pursuit of social justice and political equality. The group has organized numerous attacks and operations since its inception, including the Anori operation from 1973 to 1974, and the kidnapping of a Roman Catholic bishop in July 2004. In 2017, they began peace talks with the government, which are still ongoing.