Hostages key to tricky new Colombia peace talks

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BOGOTA: New talks to end Colombia’s half-century of conflict face tough challenges as the government presses for hostages to be released by a rebel group with a sprawling command structure. Bogota says a peace deal with the leftist ELN force will depend on the guerrillas freeing captives – but it admitted it does not know how many the group is holding. The sensitive issue underlines the challenges facing the government as it hopes to end what is considered the last major armed conflict in the West. The government announced Wednesday that it would launch peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), Colombia’s second-biggest rebel group.

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AFP

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