Search

 

Cablegate: Goc and Eln Peace Talks Inch Forward, Ball In

VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #0093/01 3042039
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 312039Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0363
INFO RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN PRIORITY 1195
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 7257
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 8397
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ OCT 8338
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 4444
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 9499
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 0349
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 5115
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 0126

C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 010093

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/30/2016
TAGS: PTER PGOV MARR PHUM CO
SUBJECT: GOC AND ELN PEACE TALKS INCH FORWARD, BALL IN
ELN'S COURT


Classified By: Ambassador William B. Wood
Reason: 1.4 (b,d)

-------
Summary
-------

1. (C) The fourth round of GOC-ELN exploratory peace talks
concluded October 26, and the parties will start substantive
discussions in December. Most commentators regarded the
result as positive but said the ELN must commit to a
ceasefire implementation date and release kidnap victims
before the talks could progress further. Civil society
guarantor Moritz Akerman said the ELN told him it is willing
to make the required commitments and in return will ask for
amnesty for its imprisoned members. Akerman and Peace
Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo said the ball is now in the
ELN's court. End summary.

------------------------------------------
Fourth Round Positive, Some Disappointment
------------------------------------------

2. (C) In a joint statement issued October 26, the GOC and
ELN characterized their fourth round of exploratory peace
talks in Cuba as constructive and agreed to move to a
substantive phase of talks. The parties divided their tasks
into two baskets. The first, called "Civil Society,"
includes additional "Houses of Peace," a National Convention,
and "regional dialogue." The second basket is entitled
"Peace Environment," which will address a ceasefire,
displaced persons, and amnesty. Most commentators regarded
the joint statement as positive. Norwegian Charge Dag
Nylander, who was in Havana as a representative of one of the
"accompanying countries," said the parties reaffirmed in
Havana the commitments they made recently in Caracas.

3. (C) Akerman told us the atmosphere deteriorated during
the talks. He was encouraged by opening statements by both
sides, but became disappointed as the parties failed to show
flexibility on ceasefire and humanitarian issues. Akerman
said much of the corridor gossip in Havana centered on the
apparently poor relationship between the principal
negotiators, Restrepo and ELN military commander Antonio
Garcia. On two occasions, Akerman reported, ELN negotiator
Francisco Galan asked Akerman to call the U.S. Embassy in
Bogota to "save" the talks because the Restrepo-Garcia
relationship appeared to have broken down.

-------------------------------------
Consensus that Ball is in ELN's Court
-------------------------------------

4. (C) Akerman said ELN negotiators told him they are
prepared to agree to a ceasefire, to be implemented on
February 1, and are willing to release all kidnap victims.
In return, the ELN will seek the release of all ELN prisoners
and a GOC commitment to boost assistance to displaced
persons. Still, he complained about Garcia indulging in
"interminable theoretical discussions about the nature of
conflict," in Havana. The ELN needed to stop issuing
statements and instead present a concrete ceasefire proposal
to the GOC. He said the guarantors intended to work
intensively with Galan and ELN prisoner Juan Carlos Cuellar
on a draft ceasefire text. Akerman reported that Garcia
rejected OAS involvement in ceasefire verification activities
and suggested instead the UN or EU. The ELN appeared
concerned about FARC attacks during a ceasefire. Nylander
told us Restrepo was tough in his concluding press conference
in Cuba, saying the talks had little future if the ELN would
not commit to a ceasefire and release its kidnap victims.

5. (U) The ELN announced on October 29 it would order its
fronts in Samaniego, Narino Department, to facilitate the
demining of the area. Former foreign ministers Maria Emma
Mejia and Augusto Ramirez, members of the National
Facilitation Commission, characterized the action as positive
and said it reflected the progress the GOC and ELN had made
in recent months.

----------
Cuban Role
----------


6. (C) Akerman told us Cuban Communist Party official Tony
Lopez appeared to play a negative role in Havana. The
guarantors showed Lopez a draft ceasefire proposal they had
previously drafted and shared with former Venezuelan vice
Foreign Minister PavelRondon. Akerman said Lopez regarded
the proposal as "interesting," but insisted the ELN should
not make a deal with the GOC as long as the FARC was still in
the field.

-----------------------------
Norway Standing By on Funding
-----------------------------

7. (C) Nylander said Norway was examining two financial
contributions: one for the process, and one for the ELN as an
organization. The former could occur with GOC approval but
the latter would require significant ELN movement on
humanitarian issues and broader international community
endorsement.
WOOD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

ALRANZ: Denounces US Senate Confirmation Of Judge Barrett

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa denounces the US Senate’s confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court seat formerly held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. “This action demonstrates the rank hypocrisy of the once-respected upper chamber ... More>>

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>