Conflicts: Colombia’s government and ELN guerrilla peace agenda

Conflicts: Colombia’s government and ELN guerrilla peace agenda

The conflicts lasted almost 60 years. Now the agreed agreement should give the guerrillas political participation in the peace efforts.

The Colombian government and the left-wing ELN guerrillas agreed on a six-point plan for their peace talks during talks in Mexico City. Both delegations signed the agenda at the end of the second round of talks on Friday. Society should therefore be more involved in the peace efforts, as Colombia’s Vice President Francia Márquez told journalists. The next round is scheduled to take place in Cuba in April.

After almost 60 years of conflict, the first steps towards a bilateral ceasefire have been taken, said the chief negotiator of the National Liberation Army (ELN), Pablo Beltrán. The agreement provides guarantees for the political involvement of the guerrillas. The Marxist-Leninist ELN has around 5,000 fighters. The six items on the agenda are: community participation, democracy, transformations for peace, sacrifice, end of conflict and implementation.

52 years of civil war

The new left-wing government of President Gustavo Petro and the ELN resumed peace talks in the Venezuelan capital Caracas in November after a four-year break. Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, Chile and Norway are participating in the peace process as guarantors. The Catholic Church and UN representatives are constant companions. Germany, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland are also accompanying the process.

For 52 years, Colombia suffered from a civil war between left-wing rebels, right-wing paramilitaries and the military. 220,000 people lost their lives and millions were displaced. Although the security situation has improved after the 2016 peace agreement between the government and the largest rebel group FARC, parts of the South American country are still controlled by illegal groups.

Source: Stern

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