After three years of exploratory talks, the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) have formerly begun peace negotiations in Ecuador.
CGTN’s Michelle Begue reports.
ELN enters formal negotiations with Colombian governmentAfter three years of exploratory talks, the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) have formerly begun peace negotiations in Ecuador. CGTN's Michelle Begue reports.
“Juan Manuel Santos’ government invited us to talk to put an end to this armed conflict and here we came ready to find a political solution. The hope of the majority of Colombians encourages us to finish with this killing between brothers,” Pablo Beltran, head of ELN negotiators said.
Similar to a peace agreement with FARC rebels, the ELN hopes to negotiate a chance to participate in Colombia’s government in exchange for peace.
Colombia’s second largest guerrilla group has an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 fighters left.
It has extorted and bombed oil and electricity infrastructure and kidnapped hundreds of Colombians over the past five decades. The government’s head negotiator asked the rebels put an end to their crimes.
The ELN’s chief negotiator asked the government to take responsibility for its actions during the conflict, and that they would do the same.
And the peace talks are the fifth time that the two sides have tried make peace.