By James Blears
The ELN, which has been waging an armed conflict since 1964, has announced a twelve days ceasefire, during this Festive Season, starting on December 23rd and lasting until January 3rd. It's also requesting a resumption of peace talks in Havana Cuba. But Colombia's President Ivan Duque says this can't happen until the ELN frees all hostages and desists from all criminal activity. The previous Government lead by President Juan Manuel Santos signed a peace agreement with the larger Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC, in 2016, and were negotiating with the ELN. This began in 2017.
The ELN insists it's committed to a political solution, ending the armed struggle and participating in a true democracy. The required next move appears to be up to its Command structure.