The National Liberation Army (ELN) spoke in the last few hours in response to the announcement by the Government of President Gustavo Petro to resume military actions against this guerrilla.
“The Military and Police Forces retain full powers in the offensive against the National Liberation Army (ELN), what we had suspended was precisely that offensive, that offensive remains full until there is a lifting of the suspension that Today it was decreed,” said the Minister of the Interior, Alfonso Prada.
In any case, the minister asked this organization to declare a verifiable truce while a bilateral ceasefire is being analyzed in the future.
“Given the desire for peace expressed by the ELN and while the bilateral cessation protocol is being studied at the dialogue table, we invite this organization to declare a verifiable truce in response to the imperative call of the ethno-territorial and peasant communities to maintain the peace. bilateral cessation and non-violence in their territories. The National Government will not give up its search for respect for life to build ‘total peace’”, the Petro Government noted.
After this pronouncement, the ELN issued a brief communication, in which it limited itself to announcing that it will analyze what the government said.
“Just like we did in December, We are going to analyze the pronouncement of the Government with our National Directorate, while we begin a new cycle of talks”, the guerrilla group pointed out.
All this situation occurred after the crossover of versions between the Government and the illegal group. While President Petro came out to say that a bilateral ceasefire had been agreed, the ELN assured that there was no agreement.
In other words, this guerrilla was the only one of the six illegal armed groups that announced its interest in being part of the so-called “total peace” that did not agree with the bilateral ceasefire.
This entire episode generated by the crossover of versions between President Petro and the guerrilla group has generated concern about what really happened.
To put an end to the speculation, Minister Prada went out to explain that the determination of the ceasefire began as a result of the call that, according to the National Government, was collected from the clamor of the communities in the areas of interference by the ELN and other criminal organizations. , which call for a ceasefire.
“The bilateral cessation is a response mainly to the communities and social organizations that ask for peace in the territory. This decision is supported by the Secretary General of the United Nations, by the Colombian Episcopal Conference, by the Ombudsman, the World Council of Churches and by the International Community”, he stressed.
In addition, the senior official spoke that several days ago the ELN itself had raised the need for a bilateral cessation to be evaluated and initiated, calling on the Executive to take measures in favor of peace.
“The ELN, on several occasions, has raised the importance of advancing in a bilateral cessation. On December 19, after declaring unilateral cessation by this organization, He asked that the National Government act in accordance with its will for peace and study the possibility of a bilateral cessation,” Prada explained.
Immediately afterwards, the Minister of the Interior stated that the National Government and, especially, President Petro, decreed the bilateral cessation of this situation.