A ceasefire between Colombia’s security forces and guerrilla group ELN took force in support of ongoing peace talks.
The ceasefire will be monitored by the United Nations, the Catholic Church and social organizations that will mediate peace proposals with the government Gustavo Petro and the guerrillas.
Petro, ELN commanders and social organizations took part in a ceremony in the capital Bogota to formally initiate the ceasefire and the National Participation Council (CNP).
The ceremony was attended by more than 2,000 people.
Government negotiator Jose Otty Patiño, a political scientist and former M-19 guerrilla, has been negotiating the 180-day ceasefire with guerrilla commanders since January.
The creation of the CNP was agreed before former President Juan Manuel Santos and the guerrillas agreed to negotiate an end to the ELN’s insurrection of almost 60 years.
In the second half of 2017, government negotiators and guerrillas agreed to a 100-day ceasefire.
This ceasefire fell apart amid alleged violations of the bilateral deal by both parties and interference from rival armed groups.
The current ceasefire is supposed to be extended in order to facilitate the public participation in the peace talks without further endangering social leaders.
The 80 community representatives of the CNP, with government and guerrilla support, are expected to come to a peace proposal in May 2025.
The ratification of this proposal would mean the dismantling of the ELN and a beginning of a peace process to overcome the decades of armed conflict suffered by a large percentage of the rural population.
Source : colombiareports