Cuba to host Colombia-ELN rebel peace talks
BOGOTA – Agence France-Presse
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is trying to conclude a peace agreement with the country’s 1,500-strong last active rebel group, similar to the one signed with the larger FARC guerrillas in November 2016. The FARC has since become a political party.
Five other countries -- Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Norway and Venezuela -- have vouched for the dialogue.
“We hope to move forward quickly,” added Santos.
Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno told Colombia’s RCN television that he wanted to end Ecuador’s role following a flareup of violence along their common border.
Moreno’s remarks came as Ecuadoran and Colombian troops pressed a hunt along their respective sides of the border for a small band of ex-FARC rebels turned criminals responsible for the kidnapping and murder of a three-man Ecuadoran journalist team.
However, peace talks with the ELN are being held against the backdrop of a more hostile political context in Colombia, after hardline conservatives opposed to peace with the rebels have gained ground in recent legislative elections.