COLOMBIA: Government Accuses ELN Of Carrying Out Attacks

COLOMBIA: Government Accuses ELN Of Carrying Out Attacks

Colombia's military and ELN rebels resumed hostilities on Wednesday after failing to agree to an extension of a bilateral ceasefire, in spite of pleas by victims and the global community to maintain a ceasefire. The attacks come after the end of an agreement between the government and the rebels.

Santos responded shortly afterward by recalling his chief negotiator from Quito, Ecuador, where talks had been scheduled... But he said in light of the latest attacks it is "too early to venture a sense of what the future holds in terms of the situation on the ground and at the negotiating table". "I call on the Government and its Ministry of Defense to put the pause for reflection before the aggression, before returning to the use of force on the ELN".

"The National Government was always willing to extend the ceasefire with that organization and negotiates a new one".

In a televised address, Gustavo Bell said both sides will need to act quickly because part of the United Nations commission overseeing the prior, temporary bilateral cease-fire that ended Tuesday has already begun to disband. The rebels also accused the government of failing to live up to their end of the accord during the 101-day ceasefire.

A call that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos made in early September to his USA counterpart Donald Trump to show solidarity with the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas ended in a tense conversation between the two leaders.

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However, the attacks "should not alter the course of the talks to achieve a political resolution to the conflict", the group said. He added that they're seeking a response from the government to see if it is interested in finding a way out of this incident.

His trip was announced Wednesday as the Security Council was meeting to discuss the United Nations mission in Colombia monitoring the 2016 cease-fire agreement that ended more than a half century of conflict between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the largest rebel group known as the FARC.

In the agreement between the two sides three months ago, the rebels agreed to stop their attacks while the government promised to improve the conditions of the rebels that are in jail. Before the deal, the group was the biggest in Colombia.

Leftist Senator of the Polo party Ivan Cepeda published an open letter Tuesday to all 12 presidential candidates that urged them to support an extension of the ceasefire.

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