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Rebels say Colombia govt peace talk terms are 'unacceptable'

AFP  |  Havana 

Colombia's (ELN) guerrillas said Monday that conditions set by Ivan Duque, the country's new president, to restart peace talks in aimed at ending their insurgency are "unacceptable."

Right-winger Duque gave the Marxist a one-month deadline after his inauguration on August 7 to convince him it is serious about laying down arms and reentering civilian life.

That cut-off point expired on Friday.

By refusing to recognize agreements reached under Duque's predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos, "and unilaterally placing unacceptable conditions, this government is... ending the process of dialogue" aimed at reaching a peace agreement, negotiators in said in a statement.

The statement called for restarting talks "with no further delays." Duque on Saturday demanded the release of all hostages -- believed to be 16 -- as a condition to restart peace talks.

With an estimated 1,500 fighters, the ELN is the last recognized armed rebel group operating in Authorities believe it is financed through drug trafficking and

Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize for signing the historic accord with the much larger Revolutionary Armed Forces of (FARC) rebels in 2016, turning that armed group into a political party after more than 50 years of violent insurrection.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, September 10 2018. 15:55 IST