The Colombian government and the largest remaining guerrilla group, The National Liberation Army (ELN), signed a “national”, “bilateral” and “temporary” ceasefire on Friday, marking the longest truce the two sides have agreed to date.

This is the main result of the third cycle of peace talks held in Cuba to resolve a conflict dating back to the 1960s.

The government and ELN announced the deal at a ceremony in Havana attended by Colombian President Gustavo Petro, top guerrilla commander Antonio García and Cuban officials.

García, the rebel commander, said his group was “very confident” in the accord, though he characterised it as “procedural” and not yet the “substantial” kind needed “for Colombia to change.”

The ceasefire takes effect in phases, goes fully into effect in August and should then last for six months.

“This effort to look for peace is a beacon of hope that conflicts can be resolved politically and diplomatically,” top rebel negotiator Pablo Beltrán said at the ceremony.

Source: Euronews

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