ELN’s Pledge for Peace: Colombian Rebel Group Commits to Halting Military Attacks
Colombia’s largest rebel group announces an end to military attacks as it prepares for a ceasefire with the government, marking a significant step towards ending a five-decade-long war. The National Liberation Army’s Central Command has issued an order for its units nationwide to cease all offensive actions against the military, including espionage, starting from July 6th. However, the ELN emphasizes that its fighters will continue to use their weapons to protect themselves from any military or armed group aggression in rural areas of Colombia. In June, both the ELN and the Colombian government agreed to take steps leading to a bilateral ceasefire on August 3rd. This ceasefire is intended to last for six months and facilitate ongoing peace talks that began in late 2021 and are expected to continue until at least 2025.
Colombia’s Path to Peace: ELN’s Ceasefire Announcement Marks a Significant Turning Point
The ELN has experienced significant growth since 2017, occupying areas previously held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) following their peace deal with the government. With an estimated 4,000 active fighters, the ELN operates primarily in Colombia’s Choco region and along its borders with Venezuela and Ecuador. Humanitarian organizations have highlighted the displacement of thousands of people as the ELN and other armed groups, such as the Gulf Clan, vie for control over territory. According to a UN report published in June, Colombia recorded 214,000 internally displaced individuals in 2022.