Colombia and the ELN Extend Ceasefire for 7 Days

Colombia and the ELN Extend Ceasefire for 7 Days
Fecha de publicación: 
30 January 2024
Imagen principal: 

On Monday, the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) announced an agreement to extend the current bilateral and national ceasefire for seven days, until February 5. The ceasefire, initially agreed upon for six months, was set to expire within hours.


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The agreement was reached in Havana, where both parties have been engaged in the sixth cycle of peace talks since January 22, with the extension of the ceasefire being a key point of negotiation. Over the weekend, Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez joined the talks.

In the coming days of the discussions in Cuba, there will be an evaluation of the ceasefire, and at the end of the cycle, originally scheduled for February 6, a ceasefire extension will be signed, which will "strengthen, develop, and include" new aspects of the ceasefire.

The agreed-upon conditions from the third cycle of peace talks will be maintained. This period came into effect on August 3 and was set to conclude on January 29.

.@UN Security Council has welcomed positive advances under @petrogustavo's govt in the 2016 peace agreement.

It has committed to implement 60% by 2026 which would get the peace process back on track - a big achievement after the previous govt's neglect.

— Justice for Colombia (@JFColombia) January 29, 2024

The extension of the ceasefire is the central point of the peace negotiations in Cuba. Both parties, at the end of the fifth cycle held in Mexico, expressed their "willingness" to maintain it. However, there were differences between the two sides regarding the details.

The ELN requested guarantees that the ceasefire would fulfill its "primary function," which is to improve the living conditions and human rights of the population in the conflict-affected areas.

On the other hand, the Colombian government aimed to broaden the terms and the range of prohibited violent actions included in the ceasefire.


The UN Security Council issues a statement, reaffirming its "full and unanimous support for the peace process in Colombia." The declaration underscores global commitment to fostering stability in the region.


— Nasiru Abdulrasheed (@neabdulrasheed) January 19, 2024

The current ceasefire only prohibits offensive actions against the other party and any actions not permitted by International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

The government, as stated by chief negotiator Vera Grabe, wants to "include more actions beyond kidnapping, those that affect the population."

Former President Juan Manuel Santos, , who won the Nobel Peace Prize for reaching a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), said that the peace negotiations are currently in uncertain territory due to a lack of clarity on the objectives.

"They have not given us information about what they really seek. What does the ELN want? Where do they want to go with this negotiation? What legal framework will they use to give it national and international legitimacy?" he asked, adding that the lack of information makes the future of the peace process very uncertain.

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