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    Rebels of Colombia's Marxist National Liberation Army (ELN) arrive in a boat, in the northwestern jungles, Colombia. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 January 2018

Gustavo Bell, chief negotiator on behalf of the government, will travel to Ecuador to study the possibility of a new ceasefire with the insurgent group.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has announced on Twitter that his government will evaluate a new ceasefire with the National Liberation Army, ELN, in response to U.N. demands.

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Colombia's Peace Council Calls for Fresh Ceasefire With ELN

Gustavo Bell, chief negotiator on behalf of the government, will travel to Ecuador to study the possibility of a new ceasefire with the insurgent group.

The president said the decision was motivated by a call made by the United Nations, which encouraged both sides to continue seeking a negotiated solution to the conflict.

"We encourage the government and the ELN to redouble their efforts to build a peaceful political solution, and we encourage that this search be accompanied by tangible benefits for the population, and in particular the communities most affected by the conflict," said Jean Arnault, head of the U.N. Mission in Colombia

For its part, the ELN has expressed its willingness to resume negotiations in Quito, Ecuador, which were interrupted on Jan. 10 after a series of attacks that were attributed to the ELN. The organization has not claimed responsibility for the attacks.

"We agree to participate in a meeting between the heads of delegation, with the presence of the guarantors, in which we will examine the early start of the fifth cycle of (peace) talks, to discuss all the pending issues there," the ELN said.

ELN delegates insist on the importance of agreeing on another ceasefire and reiterate their willingness to reach an agreement with the Colombian government, despite recent events.


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