Photo by Foj333
In February of this year, Colombia begun peace talks with the number 2 worst rebel group in Colombia. Their name is The National Liberation Army (ELN).
Fox News reports, “Colombia’s government and the nation’s second-largest rebel group formally started peace talks Tuesday in neighboring Ecuador, seeking to follow up on the peace accord already reached with the biggest rebel movement.”
The highest government representative expected to take lessons from his negotiations with FARC to negotiate with the ELN.
BBC explains, “The top government representative, Juan Camilo Restrepo, said he expected to draw from the lessons of the negotiations with the Farc to reach a peace accord with the ELN.”
In the 53 -year conflict, hundreds of thousands of people have died. That is why the peace talks are so important for the Colombian government.
Per France 24, “Colombia opened peace talks Tuesday with its last active rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), seeking to end a 53-year conflict that has killed more than 260,000 people.”
Talks with rebel groups started last March. While it was easy to meet the demands of FARC, negotiations with ELN ended because they refused to meet demands to free political prisoners they had kidnapped.
Fox News states, “The start of talks originally was announced last March as the government’s accord with the much-larger Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to end a half century of hostilities was nearing completion. But negotiations with the ELN stalled as the rebels refused to meet President Juan Manuel Santos’ demand that it free a prominent politician from captivity.”
Not only did the ELN refuse to release political prisoners, but they also refused to end kidnapping in general. Those in the ELN made their money through the ransom.
BBC reports, “The ELN relies on the ransom obtained from kidnappings or ‘retentions’ to finance their activities.”
The ELN did release a Colombian soldier as a sign of goodwill to the government.
France 24 states, “In a further goodwill gesture on Monday, the ELN released a soldier they had captured two weeks earlier.”
Operation Mobilization (OM), works in Colombia to bring Christ’s hope to the people of Colombia and to train up missionaries to go around the world.
Per OM, “We aim to work alongside the church and Christian organizations in prison ministries, community evangelization and children’s evangelization, adopting special projects (The Potter’s House) and focusing groups at risk like poor women and children.”
Pray for a successful peace deal between ELN and the Colombian government. Pray that those who have been kidnapped would be released without ransom and that those in the ELN would be able to find a legitimate job. Pray for many in Colombia to come to know Christ’s hope.
Fox News: Colombia begins formal peace talks with No. 2 rebel group
BBC: Colombia: Peace talks with ELN rebel group begin
France 24: Colombia opens peace talks with ELN rebel group