The Colombian government and the rebel National Liberation Army (ELN) Tuesday agreed to extend their landmark truce for 180 days. The truce, called the Bilateral, National and Temporary Ceasefire, was previously extended by one week on January 30 2024, while each side continued ongoing peace talks. In addition to the extension, the peace process is being financed by multiple donors.The renewal of the ceasefire concluded in Cuba after the first round of negotiations took place in Venezuela and the second round in Mexico City. Colombia’s High Commission for Peace says that the Dialogues for Peace between the government and ELN ended with five agreements and two protocols. As part of the agreement, the government agreed to fund the ceasefire in order to prevent the ELN from continuing kidnapping, drug trafficking, and illegal mining to obtain funds. The truce forms part of President Gustavo Petro’s plan for “total peace” with armed groups in the country.The ELN is currently Colombia’s last active far-left guerilla group. It first took up arms against the Colombian state in 1964, making the conflict ongoing for almost 60 years. The ELN was formed initially as a leftist movement by students who were inspired by the Cuban Revolution. The ELN, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), claimed to fight for the rights of the poor. The conflict is rooted in social inequality and political tensions.International Crisis Group has commented that the six-month bilateral ceasefire, if successful, will mark the “longest bilateral ceasefire ever concluded with a guerrilla group.”

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