Peace talks between ELN and Colombian government announced in March but have been delayed by rebels’ continued kidnappings and infrastructure attacks. Photograph: Jaime Saldarriaga/Reuters
Colombia's government and second-biggest rebel group will on Monday announce the start of peace talks, sources said, in what would be a boost for President Juan Manuel Santos after the rejection of his deal with the larger FARC guerrilla group.
The negotiations with the 2,000-strong National Liberation Army (ELN) will be confirmed by representatives of both sides at a news conference in Venezuela scheduled for this evening, two government sources told Reuters.
The talks are then expected to take place in Ecuador.
The Colombian government and the ELN will make an announcement at 2000 EST in Caracas, the governments of Venezuela and Colombia said in a statement on Monday.
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Update: Colombia’s government and ELN rebels to announce date for peace talks on Monday: Report (Colombia Reports)
WNU Editor: With the recent rejection of the Colombia - FARC peace agreement by the electorate I am surprised that they are still going to go ahead with these talks. But if these talks could at least maintain some semblance of a ceasefire .... I would consider it as a small victory.