Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has welcomed the announcement that Colombia’s second largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), has entered into formal peace talks with the Colombian government.
Deputy Crowe said:
“The protracted conflict in Colombia is the only ongoing war in South America and I welcome the news that the ELN has entered into formal peace talks with the Colombian government.
“The Colombian government and the ELN have been holding preliminary talks for over two years, so I warmly welcome this breakthrough and the beginning of formal negotiations.
“This latest announcement will act as a confidence building measure and strengthen the position of those arguing for a peaceful resolution of this decades long conflict.
“The largest rebel group in Colombia, The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), have been negotiating a peace process with the Colombian government since 2012. These peace talks, which are being facilitated by the Cuban government, have rapidly progressed in recent months and despite setbacks, it now seems they are on the cusp of a finalised peace process.
“I hope that both these peace talks can reach a successful conclusion and that the Colombian people can begin the arduous task of building a lasting peace in their country.
“I also want to take this opportunity to praise Cuba, Norway, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil and Ecuador who have all agreed to act as guarantor countries for these new talks. Their participation has instilled confidence and paved the way for the establishment of these formal negotiations.”