SPOTLIGHT : ELN PEACE PROCESS ON ROCKY GROUND
The Government of Colombia (GOC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) have been in formal peace talks since March 2016, a process which culminated in the declaration of a temporary bilateral ceasefire between 1 October 2017 and 9 January 2018, a development which raised hopes for the achievement of a “Complete Peace” in the country. However, violence escalated after the end of the ceasefire, and the future of the talks has become increasingly precarious since they were suspended by President Juan Manual Santos at the end of January. The GOC insists on the cessation of hostilities as a precondition to resuming talks, while the ELN contends that the talks would be the forum in which the new ceasefire should be negotiated. Meanwhile, the humanitarian toll of the conflict has again fallen on the communities caught in the cross fire.
This Spotlight analyses the peace talks and national context to date; and discusses the challenges to the resumption and success of the GOCELN peace process, with the aim of contributing to the discussion and lessons learned through the process.