UN chief hails ceasefire agreement between Colombian government and ELN guerrillas

UN Secretary-General António Guterres congratulated the Colombian government and the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) for the agreement reached on Friday in Cuba on a six-month bilateral ceasefire, said Stéphane Dujarric, Guterres’ spokesman.

The UN chief also praised the two sides for a mechanism to define the participation of Colombian society in the peace process, the spokesman said in a statement.

These are important steps that send hope to the Colombian people, especially to the communities most affected by the conflict, the same source said.

Guterres expressed confidence that the parties will work together in good faith with the determination to fulfil their obligations under the ceasefire, and positively signalled his intention to broaden its scope in the future, he added.

“He takes note of the role requested for the UN Verification Mission in its monitoring and verification, and stands ready to continue to accompany the dialogue process through its special representative,” the statement concluded.