January 9th marked the end of a three-month temporary ceasefire between the Colombian Government and the National Liberation Army, the countries largest active guerrilla group. Black Mountain Solutions were disappointed to hear that multiple attacks have occurred since then, including the killing of a soldier and the bombing of a pipeline, casting serious doubts over the ongoing peace negotiations.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos condemned the violence, and requested that lead negotiator Snr Gustavo Bell, immediately return to Bogota to establish whether or not continued peace talks hold any merit. In light of the attacks Colombian military have been ordered to respond to any similar future incidents “with force,” according to local newspaper El Tiempo.
With both the Colombian Government and the ELN refusing to take responsibility for the current failures in negotiations and lack of agreement on both sides, the United Nations Security Council said that they “regretted” the attacks and that they hoped that both sides would “resume work to agree a renewal and strengthening of the ceasefire in order to prevent a return to conflict.”
The Colombian Government continues to show concern as to whether the ELN leaders could ensure compliance if an appropriate peace deal is ever achieved. With dissidence from the 2016 peace deal a continuing concern for the Government, and their previous experience with the certain failures within the FARC peace deal, there is scepticism on both sides.
The possibility that the recent wave of violence may continue heightens the need for visitors to the country to engage the services of a highly qualified Security Company in Colombia.
With the recent deployment of over 2000 troops to Nariño’s important port city of Tumaco following the end of the ceasefire, the situation seems as volatile as ever before, with a successful peace agreement unlikely at this present time.