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  • The ELN is the last active guerrilla group in Colombia since the FARC signed a peace agreement with the government in November.

    The ELN is the last active guerrilla group in Colombia since the FARC signed a peace agreement with the government in November. | Photo: EFE

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Colombia's two main rebel organizations have not always fought hand in hand against the government.

Representatives of Colombia's two main guerrilla groups, the FARC and the ELN, began talks on Sunday in Havana to discuss a common approach towards peace with Colombia's government.

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The historic three-day meeting, formally allowed by the government, is meant to address the implementation of the peace accords signed between Colombia's government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, as well as the ongoing negotiations between Bogota and the National Liberation Army, or ELN.

The rebels will exchange their ideas on the peace process, but also attempt to solve territorial conflicts that have emerged especially with the demobilization of the FARC troops.

FARC's leaders Rodrigo "Timochenko" Londoño and Rodrigo Granda were already in the Cuban capital after returning from signing peace accords in November. Other FARC leaders led by Ivan Marquez joined them Sunday, Caracol Radio reported.

Nicolas Rodriguez Bautista, aka Gabino Pablo Beltran, and Antonio Garcia would be representing the ELN.

The meeting should help to smooth out the relationship between the two rebel groups. Between 2006 and 2010, armed confrontations killed about 1,200 guerrillas on both sides, according to Ariel Avila from the Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation.

Although the idea of a joint meeting was discussed for the better part of a year, but the government's commissioner for peace, Sergio Jaramillo, was allegedly opposed it, added Avila.

Colombian senator from the progressive Democratic Pole, Ivan Cepeda, welcomed the meeting as "crucial" and hoped it will help to advance the two ongoing peace processes.

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