The Government of Colombia suspends the ceasefire with the ELN

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The Government of Colombia suspends the ceasefire with the ELN

The Government of Colombia has decided to “suspend ” the bilateral ceasefire with the National Liberation Army (ELN), after the guerrillas warned on Tuesday that there was no consensus to pause activities armed forces on both sides.

The Colombian President, Gustavo Petro, has convened an urgent meeting to examine what happened early Wednesday morning and, at the end of this meeting, the Minister of the Interior, Alfonso Prada , has confirmed to the media that the decree published just a few hours before on the ceasefire “does not produce any legal effect”.

Prada has indicated that the ELN raised ; “on several occasions” the importance of decreeing a bilateral ceasefireand that after announcing theirs on December 19, they asked the Government to “act accordingly” and study the possibility of responding in the same way.

Under these maxims, the government joined in to the bilateral ceasefire at the time. However, he has lamented that “given the position publicly assumed” by the ELN, the Colombian authorities have decided to leave said decree with which the decree was sealed without “legal effect”. this truce.

Likewise, Prada has reported that although the possibility of a bilateral ceasefire will be limited. This is one of the issues to be addressed in the next round of talks and has invited the ELN, which has expressed its “will” for peace on several occasions, to declare a “verifiable truce” as a gesture of good will.

“For now, we invite you to declare the truce as an act of recognition of the request that motivated this declaration, that of the communities and social organizations that have desperately called for a bilateral ceasefire. The Government has

Prada has denied the rumors that the wording of these decrees has not been consulted nor elaborated collectively and has stressed that the Armed Forces always were aware of the Government's plans.

“We recognize that these processes are highly complex, we must proceed with great caution, but under no circumstances are we exempt from a reaction from the counterparty”, has He responded when asked if the Government committed It was a mistake not to bring that measure to the negotiating table.

The offensive against the ELN continues

The cancellation of this decree, Prada stressed, means that the security forces of the Colombian State “retain full powers in the offensive against the ELN” until Petro lifts said suspension.

< p>The government wants to “give the necessary time” to agree on the protocols that should govern this possible truce at the dialogue table with the ELN.Once these measures are “totally agreed”, the new law will enter. The ceasefire decree is in force, explained the minister.

Conservations with the rest of the organizations

On the other hand, Prada has It was highlighted that the four armed groups with which the Government reached the A bilateral ceasefire agreement remains “committed” to this and has confirmed that, as planned, meetings will take place “in the “next few days” with the high command of these organizations.

These are the cases of the two dissidences of the FARC -Estado Mayor Central and Segunda Marquetalia- and of the paramilitary groups of the Clan del Golfo and the Self-Defense Forces of the Sierra Nevada, which has led Prada to highlight that in what Regarding these two, “social and legal dialogue spaces provided for in the law will begin”. n a bilateral ceasefire has the approval of the United Nations, the Catholic Church, the Ombudsman and a large part of the international community.

Finally , has stressed that the suspension of military and police operations with regard to these groups will be done without prejudice to compliance with the obligations of the authorities to preserve the integrity of the territory, order constitutional law and ensure the necessary conditions for the exercise of the rights of rights and freedoms.