Colombia and leftist ELN rebels to begin formal peace talks

March 30, 2016 15:32

Colombia will announce peace talks with its second-largest rebel group the ELN, a government source told Reuters on Wednesday, after the guerrillas freed two hostages to meet a government condition for the start of talks.

The government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) have been in preliminary talks for more than two years, but have yet to begin formal negotiations. The group has recently freed two hostages whose liberation President Juan Manuel Santos made a condition for beginning talks.

The announcement would come amid low approval ratings for Santos and after negotiators at talks with the larger FARC rebel group failed to reach last week's self-imposed deadline for a final accord.

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