The bilateral ceasefire is the first step to resolving Colombia’s second longest running internal long conflict. It serves as a trust-building exercise that WOLA hopes will lead to a definitive ceasefire. An end to the ELN conflict is required for Colombia to achieve a more complete and sustainable peace. The cessation of hostilities greatly advances peace negotiations and improves security for civilians. It will help minimize further displacements and humanitarian emergencies that affect indigenous and Afro-Colombian peoples in the country’s Pacific Coast. WOLA
A new element in the ELN cease fire will be the participation of the Catholic Church, which, according to the UN Mission in Colombia, will monitor "prevention and verification activities both at regional and local level." The major difference with the UN verified cease fire with FARC, is that the one with ELN is temporary. It will remain in place until January 9, 2018 according to the final agreement with this group made on Friday in Quito (Ecuador) where the peace talks are held. El Tiempo
The Colombian government's peace negotiations with ELN, the nation's most active guerrilla organization, will be more difficult than the talks lasting four years with FARC. This stems from the group's adical ideology and loose command structure, the head of the government's negotiators said. [...] Although the parties agreed earlier this month to a historic bilateral cease-fire of more than three months commencing on October 1, this being the first concrete achievement in the negotiation,s the government's chief negotiator, Juan Camilo Restrepo, admitted that the road ahead will be long and complex. America Economía
The insurgents of the National Liberation Army of Colombia (ELN) will announce on September 1 a unilateral ceasefire if it fails to agree on a temporary bilateral truce with the government of Juan Manuel Santos, said the archbishop of the southwestern city of Cali, Dario de Jesus Monsalve. Monsalve, the main mediator between ELN and the Colombian government, made the announcement after meeting with guerrilla leaders in Quito, where peace talks have been held since last February and when the third cycle of said negotiations will conclude on September 1. Sputnik News
Sociologist Eduardo Pizarro discusses peace negotiations with ELN in an interview with El Espectador."FARC, as a Marxist-Leninist organization founded on the basis of democratic centralism, has a vertical command structure, so that decisions made by FARC's secretariat were compulsive for the rank and file. In the case of ELN, it is a federation of regional political and military leaders and achieving consensus is infinitely more complex. El Espectador
Switzerland has welcomed a temporary ceasefire agreement between the Colombian authorities and the National Liberation Army (ELN) - the largest active rebel group in the country. The deal was struck on Sunday, promising an end to hostilities until mid-January. Switzerland is one of five states that form the ‘Group of Countries for the Support, Accompaniment and Cooperation of the Negotiating Table’ (GPAAC) that have been working for peace in the South American country. The other GPAAC members are Sweden, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Switzerland issued a statement, saying the group wanted to “congratulate the negotiating teams for this important achievement. They expect the ceasefire to improve especially the humanitarian situation of the civilian population.” SWI
The guerrillas of ELN, the National Liberation Army, voiced on Saturday, September 23, 2017, its commitment to the bilateral ceasefire agreed with the Colombian Government, which is due to commence on Sunday, October 1 and is being supported by talks between the parties in Quito since it was announced September 4. "Since that date, the two delegations involved in dialogues have been dedicated to drafting and launching the Verification mechanisms, and Protocols on Rules Commitments, and Communications to prevent incidents, Security and Public information," the armed group said in a statement released today. The objective is "to initiate on Sunday, October 1, it a bilateral ceasefire with clearly defined rules," the press release adds. El Comercio
President Santos confirmed that the cease fire with ELN will be extended until January 12, 2018. "Yes we could" (¡Si se pudo!), the dissidents said in a Tweet. The pact is scheduled to last 102 days and "will be renewed as long as progress takes place in negotiations and regarding the other points," warned the president.
The third round of peace talks between the Government and the ELN guerrillas produced a cessation of hostilities whose main objective is to "protect citizens," confirmed President Santos in a speech. Caracol Radio
Colombia’s government and the country’s last-standing rebel group, the ELN, on Monday will enter permanent talks in the hope they can reach agreement on a bilateral ceasefire before the visit of Pope Francis in September. The announcement was made by the government’s chief negotiator, Juan Camilo Restrepo, who said on Twitter the primary objective of the unabated talks are to “make progress on the issue of a cessation of hostilities.” Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports
The leader of the Colombia’s disarming guerrilla group FARC met with the leader of the fighting ELN guerrillas in Cuba to discuss a “complete peace” in Colombia. The last time both Marxist groups met to formally discuss peace with the government was in 1991 when both groups decided against it and embarked on a major offensive. Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports.