The commander of the National Liberation Army (ELN)Nicolás Rodríguez, assured this Saturday that this Colombian guerrilla will comply in a “responsible” manner with the ceasefire agreed in Havana with the Government of Gustavo Petro.
“We are going to comply with the ceasefire agreement in a sacred, responsible, and determined manner,” the guerrilla commander said in a message posted on the ELN’s Twitter account.
The commander, alias Gabino, who resigned in 2018 from the top leadership of the guerrilla, also asked the members of the ELN to “address the ceasefire in an active defense position due to threats from paramilitaries, drug traffickers and other gangs.”
He also considered that “what was signed on June 9 has nothing to do with laying down our arms: not even a hint of discussion that we are going to lay down our arms, that is not what it is about. Our weapons are silenced against the forces of the state, but if it is necessary to use them to defend ourselves against those other forces, they are used.
Rodríguez is a member of the ELN delegation that participated in the third cycle of peace negotiations with the current Colombian government.
Said cycle began on May 2 and culminated on June 9 in the Cuban capital with the signing of a “national”, “bilateral” and “temporary” ceasefire that, after an adjustment period, will initially last 180 days. as of August 3.
The ceasefire, explained the parties, contemplates a first phase of enlistment, until July 6, in which the order will be given to stop the offensives and which will become official on August 3.
This is the longest ceasefire agreed to date between the Government of Colombia and the ELN.
Venezuela will host the next cycle of negotiations between the ELN and the Government of Colombia from August 14 to September 4.