Norway and Cuba demand to comply the Protocol with ELN

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Before the affirmations of the president Iván Duque to retire of the dialogs of peace with the ELN, Norway and Cuba raised their voices of protest

Norway and Cuba demand to comply the Protocol with ELN

Last Friday, January 18 and at night, the president of Colombia Iván Duque affirmed in a presidential address the end to the peace dialogues with ELN, as a consequence of the car bomb that exploded in the Santander General School. The terrorist act left 21 people dead and more than 60 people injured.

Leer en español: Noruega y Cuba exigen que el Protocolo con ELN se cumpla

He also stressed that the arrest warrants of the ELN's main leaders, who are currently in Cuba, would be reactivated immediately, which means that the red circulars of Interpol would be open again. In addition, in the words of the president, he "will denounce any State that provides support or allow the presence of the group in its territory."

The response of Cuba

The place where the dialogues had been developed until then was Cuba, a country that upon hearing the statements of Iván Duque, refused to hand over the leaders of that group, arguing that they would adhere to the protocol "in strict respect to the Protocols of the Peace Dialogue signed between the Government and the ELN, including the Protocol in Case of Breakdown of the Negotiation", as stated in the Twitter account of the Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodríguez.

The foreign minister also pronounced, "Cuba is against terrorism and against war, in defense of peace, with the morality of having been the victim of state terrorism for decades and of impeccable executions, we condemn terrorism in all its forms and demonstrations, whatever their motivations", added the chancellor in his Twitter account

Despite Rodriguez's statements, Ivan Duque insisted that the country surrender peace negotiators of the National Liberation Army (ELN). In his twitter account, the president published a fragment of the press conference before attending the Security Council in Arauca, where he made the respectful call to the Cuban government to make effective the delivery of the ELN leaders:

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Norway, another guarantor country in peace negotiations

In addition to Cuba, Norway, another of the guarantor countries, affirmed today its intentions to maintain the "commitments agreed upon in the event of an interruption or end of the talks," as El Espectador affirms.

It should be noted that the Protocol in Case of the Breakdown of the Negotiation was signed in 2015, between ELN and the government of Juan Manuel Santos, where it specifies what the arrival of the guerrilla group would be before a suspension of the peace dialogues. As highlighted by Semana, "it is guaranteed that the parties will have 15 days from the announcement of the break to 'plan and specify the return to Colombia of the members representing ELN delegation. There it is established that the return procedure would be agreed with the guarantor countries, as well as the delegates of the government and the guerrilla."

In a letter published by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is stated that "Norway has for several years been a consistent and reliable partner of different Colombian governments in the country's efforts to seek negotiated solutions to armed conflicts with FARC and ELN. . In this capacity, Norway, at the request of the Colombian Government, has always acted respecting Colombian sovereignty, and always, with the sole intention of supporting Colombia in its efforts to resolve the armed conflict."

Colombia's argument

Faced with the above, Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said that the Colombian government is willing to dialogue with Norway, but that there is a difference between Norway and Colombia, because the government of Ivan Duque never signed such protocols, therefore they are not endorsed by this government.

Similarly, he highlights that Iván Duque never kept active a peace process with ELN, claiming that "what has existed is a manifestation of will of President Duque to analyze the possibilities of starting a process if conditions are given, the total release of the kidnapped and the unilateral cessation of criminal actions."

To continue with this line, Duque's government would be the first to get up from the table without enforcing the protocols, because in the past the governments of former presidents Gaviria, Uribe, and Pastrana had agreed, as indicated by Semana.

LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz
Translated from "Noruega y Cuba exigen que el Protocolo con ELN se cumpla"

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