Colombian political parties demand unilateral ceasefire from ELN

BOGOTA, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Representatives from six Colombian political parties issued a letter to the National Liberation Army (ELN)guerrilla group on Monday, demanding its immediate unilateral ceasefire as a sign that it truly wants peace.

Senator Roy Barreras, from the Social Party of National Unity and sponsor of the initiative, said that such a ceasefire was the best way to return to the negotiation table and advance the peace process.

"It is an important and clear message. Various political parties, which are different, think differently, even compete between themselves and have distinct visions of the economy, agree that peace is a common goal," he said.

"We all want it and it is necessary to achieve a complete peace. We demand this clear evidence from the ELN of its commitment to peace and reconciliation," he said.

Beyond being a huge impediment to the peace process, Barreras warned that the armed struggle of the ELN is "an act of suicide."

Since the ceasefire was lifted in January, a number of attacks have taken place in Colombia, including blowing up of bridges and destruction of some sections of highways in the north of the country.

On Jan. 29, President Juan Manuel Santos suspended the peace talks in Quito, Ecuador after the ELN carried out three attacks on police stations, killing 8 officers and injuring over 40 more.

Peace talks between the government and the ELN began on Feb. 7, 2017 in Quito to seek an end to the country's last armed conflict, after Colombia's largest guerrilla group, the FARC, successfully negotiated a peace deal with the government that led to the group renouncing armed conflict and joining politics in 2016.

[ Editor: zyq ]


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