Havana (EFE).- The Government of Colombia and the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) signed this Friday a “national”, “bilateral” and “temporary” ceasefire that, after a period of adjustment, will last for principle 180 days from August 3.
This is the main result of the third cycle of peace talks, which has been held since May 2 in Havana, and which the parties presented after signing the Cuba Accords, in the presence of the President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, and the first ELN commander, Eliécer Herlinto Chamorro, alias “Antonio García”.
The ceasefire, explained the parties, contemplates a first phase of enlistment, until July 6, in which the order will be given to stop the offensives and which will become official on August 3.
This is the longest ceasefire that the Government of Colombia and the ELN have agreed to to date.
A ceasefire with a humanitarian purpose
The chief negotiator of the ELN, Israel Ramírez, alias “Pablo Beltrán”, stressed that the ceasefire “seeks a humanitarian purpose, to reduce the conflict so that in Colombia there is a better climate for the participation of society.”
The head of the government delegation, Otty Patiño, spoke for his part about a “crucial” step for the peace process to advance.
In addition, the parties agreed that the UN and the Catholic Church will supervise compliance with the ceasefire agreed this Friday between the Colombian government and the ELN. Every two months there will be a follow-up meeting.
The first commander of the ELN pointed out, however, that for the moment “substantial agreements” have not been signed, but only procedural pacts, although these will serve to “advance.”
The next cycle will resume in Venezuela
Venezuela will host the next cycle of negotiations between the ELN and the Government of Colombia from August 14 to September 4, after the ceasefire agreement reached this Friday.
However, the agreement emphasizes that the peace talks table enters into a permanent activity that combines different modalities of work in different scenarios and times, maintaining the cycles of talks.
The parties thanked Cuba for their country as the venue for this cycle and as guarantor of the peace process.