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Alleged Colombian ELN rebels kidnap oil engineer

14 January 2018

President Juan Manuel Santos recalled Bell from peace talks in Ecuador Wednesday after guerrillas with the National Liberation Army, or ELN, staged new attacks hours after the expiration of a 101-day cease-fire.

From his headquarters in NY, the Secretary-General reiterated his support of the peace process with ELN urging both sides to restore the cease-fire despite the current "decrease in confidence".

President Juan Manuel Santos has suspended peace negotiations with Colombia's last rebel group following attacks on its armed forces and an oil pipeline - throwing fragile peace talks with the ELN into jeopardy.

Since February past year, the Colombian government and the ELN have been negotiating the end of the conflict that has lasted for more than half a century.

Left-wing ELN is inspired by Marxist ideology and Liberation Theology.

"I think it is important that the ceasefire be restored and that the talks between the parties continue", said Guterres, who is due to visit Colombia to support the ongoing peace process.

The United Nations is willing to send more resources to Colombia to help the Andean country care for hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans fleeing food shortages and economic devastation in their homeland, Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Saturday.

The United Nations monitored a ceasefire with the ELN until its expired on Tuesday and violence resumed.

A pact with the ELN would close the last chapter of a half-century conflict in the South American nation, following a deal struck by Nobel Peace Prize-winning Santos in November 2016 with the much larger Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) insurgents.

Ministry of Defense officials said Thursday they had detected 12 ELN assaults since the cease-fire's end including four attacks on oil pipelines, a grenade launch that left two marines injured and the shooting death of a soldier.

Alleged Colombian ELN rebels kidnap oil engineer