Weekly Report - 05 January 2023 (WR-23-01)

COLOMBIA: ELN forces Petro into humiliating climbdown

Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro announced a bilateral ceasefire shortly before midnight on 31 December with five armed groups: the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) guerrillas; two dissident groups from the demobilised Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc); and two paramilitary groups. Petro said the ceasefire would run from 1 January to 30 June 2023 but could be extended depending upon how negotiations advance. “Total peace will be a reality,” Petro said in the announcement on social media of the bilateral ceasefire, which was widely heralded as a significant breakthrough. Four days later, however, he was forced into a humiliating U-turn after the ELN announced that no such bilateral ceasefire had been agreed.

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