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Colombia’s peace talks take two: the National Liberation Army

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Colombia’s peace talks take two: the National Liberation Army

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

On Tuesday, Columbia’s second-largest rebel group and the government will resume peace talks that were originally launched in February.

The meeting was pushed back from last week to allow for an information-sharing meeting between ELN and larger rebel group FARC. In light of FARC’s successful peace deal with Bogota last November, ELN has sought advice and cooperation to inform its own peace talks with the government.

With a less defined hierarchy and more ambiguous negotiating position, it has proven difficult to strike a deal with ELN. Kidnappings attributed to the group over the weekend have also rankled the government.

Colombia’s chief peace negotiator warned the kidnappings could ‘enormously’ hinder Tuesday’s talks. The government has demanded that the ELN stop taking hostages as a precursor to a lasting deal; a request the rebel group has refused.

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Although Bogota is hoping to push talks to a happy conclusion before the 2018 elections, ELN remains pessimistic.

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