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Colombia to launch peace talks with ELN rebels

Colombia's National Liberation Army release Nelson Alarcon (L) in a rural area in Saravena, department of Arauca, Colombia, on October 10, 2016The Colombian government and the country’s second-largest rebel group, the ELN, announced they would launch negotiations on October 27 in Ecuador’s capital, with President Juan Manuel Santos predicting “total peace”. Both sides have committed to doing everything in their power to “create an environment favorable to peace” once the talks begin, according to a joint statement delivered at the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry in Caracas. The move comes as welcome news for Santos, fresh from his Nobel Peace Prize win but still reeling from voters’ rejection in a referendum of a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country’s largest rebel group.

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