Handout picture released by the Colombian presidency's press office showing Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (R) speaking next to Peace Commissioner Rodrigo Rivera, to announce had suspended peace talks with National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels in response to what he said were guerrilla attacks earlier in the day, at the Nariño presidential palace in Bogota on January 10, 2018.

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AFP

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Juan Manuel Santos requested his chief negotiator to return to Colombia

Colombian President Juan Handbook Santos has recalled the top of his negotiating group from peace talks with the Nationwide Liberation Military (ELN).

A recent spherical of peace negotiations had been as a result of begin on Wednesday within the Ecuadorean capital, Quito.

However after the rebels carried out assaults on an oil pipeline and a navy base, Mr Santos stated the talks ought to be halted.

The assaults got here hours after a short lived ceasefire expired.

The ELN first introduced its intention to begin formal peace talks in March 2016 however they didn’t begin till February 2017.

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Getty Photographs

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The group has been preventing the Colombian state for greater than 5 many years

  • The guerrilla group was based in 1964 to battle towards Colombia’s unequal distribution of land and riches, impressed by the Cuban revolution of 1959
  • Over the many years, the group has attacked massive landholders and multinational firms, and repeatedly blown up oil pipelines
  • To finance itself it has resorted to extortion, kidnappings and drug trafficking
  • It has been strongest in rural areas

The talks have suffered from a variety of setbacks since, however in September the 2 sides agreed on a short lived ceasefire, the primary in additional than 5 many years of armed battle.

That ceasefire expired on Tuesday and hours later the Marxist guerrillas attacked the Caño Limón oil pipeline and threw grenades at a naval base.

“The federal government was at all times keen to increase the ceasefire. Inexplicably, the ELN refused,” President Santos stated in a televised handle.

“Confronted with this example, I’ve spoken to the top of the [Colombian] authorities delegation in Quito, Gustavo Bell, and informed him to return instantly so we are able to consider the way forward for the method,” President Santos stated.

Mr Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 for his efforts to succeed in peace with Colombian’s largest insurgent group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

He has spoken of his hope to additionally obtain a peace cope with the ELN earlier than he leaves workplace later this 12 months, however authorities negotiators have warned that the diffuse command construction of the ELN makes it more durable to barter with than the Farc.

On Wednesday, he stated that the armed forces would “react forcefully to the ELN aggression”.