Colombia government, rebels hail pope-backed ceasefire


BOGOTA: Colombia’s government and the country’s last active guerrilla group, the ELN, announced a ceasefire Monday, a key step toward sealing a “complete peace” to end Latin America’s longest civil war. President Juan Manuel Santos and National Liberation Army (ELN) negotiators announced the ceasefire two days before a visit by Pope Francis. ELN chief negotiator Pablo Beltran said his force’s ceasefire was “the first miracle of the pope’s visit.” The ceasefire follows a separate accord that saw the disarmament last month of Colombia’s biggest rebel group, the FARC. Santos said it was “great news that we are sure will delight” the Argentine-born pontiff.



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