Cuba: Colombian Government and ELN Resume Peace Talks

The Colombian government and ELN rebel group have resumed peace talks weeks after host Ecuador decided to end its support. The two sides began talks over a year ago but only a ceasefire has been agreed to.

The ceasefire ended back in January but there were a few incidents that led to the government suspending the peace talks. After six weeks, the government and ELN resumed peace talks but Ecuador later ended its support.

Several countries were named as possible hosts for the peace talks but Cuba is now the host. Back in 2016, the Colombian government and FARC signed a peace deal that ended a long conflict. Cuba was the host for the peace talks between the government and FARC. The former rebel group is now a political party.

First Ceasefire

The government has been trying to do the same but the sides have not reached an agreement yet. Both sides said on Thursday that they would first focus on a new ceasefire deal.

The ELN group, founded in 1964, is now said to be the largest in Colombia. The chief negotiator for the government mentioned that the time has arrived to finalize a ceasefire.

The Colombian government and ELN reached a ceasefire deal back in September 2017. The ceasefire began on October 1 and ended in early January. Since then, several incidents have led to the suspension of peace talks. The peace talks were also slowed down after Ecuador decided to stop being the host.

New Deal Has Been Close

In April, reports revealed that the two sides were close to a deal on an indefinite ceasefire. Reports revealed after the end of the first ceasefire that it had not been extended because the ELN wanted a new deal. The chief negotiator of the rebel group said that the two sides had agreed to discuss a new deal after the first ceasefire of 101 days. The group said at the time that it was willing to remain in Quito if there was a positive response from the government.