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Colombian government and ELN agree to six-month ceasefire

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel shakes hands with ELN commander Antonio Garcia during a bilateral ceasefire agreement in Havana, Cuba, Friday, June 9, 2023
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel shakes hands with ELN commander Antonio Garcia during a bilateral ceasefire agreement in Havana, Cuba, Friday, June 9, 2023 Copyright Ramon Espinosa/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Ramon Espinosa/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP
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The government and the National Liberation Army announced the pact at a ceremony in Havana attended by Colombian President Gustavo Petro, top guerrilla commander Antonio García and Cuban officials.

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The Colombian government and the largest remaining guerrilla group, The National Liberation Army (ELN), signed a "national", "bilateral" and "temporary" ceasefire on Friday, marking the longest truce the two sides have agreed to date.

This is the main result of the third cycle of peace talks held in Cuba to resolve a conflict dating back to the 1960s.

The government and ELN announced the deal at a ceremony in Havana attended by Colombian President Gustavo Petro, top guerrilla commander Antonio García and Cuban officials.

García, the rebel commander, said his group was “very confident” in the accord, though he characterised it as “procedural” and not yet the “substantial” kind needed “for Colombia to change.”

The ceasefire takes effect in phases, goes fully into effect in August and should then last for six months.

“This effort to look for peace is a beacon of hope that conflicts can be resolved politically and diplomatically,” top rebel negotiator Pablo Beltrán said at the ceremony.

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