Colombia, ELN rebels peace talks reach agreement
Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro says peace talks between Colombia’s government and the ELN rebel group have reached the first point of agreement.
Petro said both sides have agreed that indigenous people displaced by the conflict should be guaranteed a safe return to their lands in the province.
He made the remarks during a visit to the province of Western Antioquia.
The left-wing National Liberation Army (ELN) is the last rebel group still active in the war, and no ceasefire has been reached yet.
Talks between the government and the ELN broke off in 2019, following an attack in which 22 people were killed.
Mr Petro, the country’s first left-wing president, himself an ex-guerrilla, who took office in August, resumed the talks on November 21.
These talks held in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas are an important milestone for Colombia, aimed at ending the long civil war.
Along with Venezuela, Cuba and Norway have agreed to act as co-sponsors of the peace process.
Speaking at the time of the talks resuming, ELN delegation head Pablo Beltrán said: “We cannot see each other as enemies, the task we have is reconciliation.”
Colombia’s High Commissioner for Peace, Danilo Rueda, previously said “human dignity” must be the focus of the peace dialogue, to eliminate the fear of being killed or kidnapped.
The conflict in Colombia has lasted nearly 60 years.