Colombian president-elect Petro proposes ceasefire

Colombia’s President-elect Gustavo Petro has proposed a “bilateral ceasefire” with the National Liberation Army (ELN), the last major rebel group in the country, in hopes of restarting stalled peace negotiations.

Petro, who is a former rebel with the M-19 movement and is set to be the country’s first left-wing president, said on Tuesday he had “sent a message” to the ELN and “all existing armed groups” that the “time for peace has come”.

“What I request is a ceasefire that will be bilateral,” he said, adding the aim of the pause in violence would be “to bring an end to the war in Colombia”.

Talks with the ELN, which unlike the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) group did not lay down arms under Colombia’s 2016 peace agreement, broke down under outgoing President Ivan Duque following a 2019 attack on a police academy in the capital, Bogota, that killed 22.

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