Colombia’s Ministry of Defense denounced the ELN rebel group, Colombia’s second largest, before the United Nations Human Rights Commission for indiscriminate attacks using improvised weapons.
In a letter written to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, the Ministry of Defense condemned an alleged ELN attack on the production complex of the Caño Limon oil pipeline that injured 13 workers while they were attending church mass.
The Ministry of Defense wrote in a letter to UN human rights delegate Todd Howard that, “The indiscriminate attacks with terrorist ends using non-conventional improvised weapons and systematic attempts against the civilian population by illegally armed groups constitute egregious violations of human rights.”
The statement asks that these and other “terrorist actions” be met with the energetic rejection of the international, national, and local community, along with any sanctions available by law.
According to the Defense Ministry, there have been three attacks in the last 10 days on the Caño Limon oil pipeline in the states of Norte de Santander, in the northeast of the country, and Arauca, in the east. Apparently, the ELN is also organizing an armed strike in the northeastern region of Colombia for July 3 to July 6, with the intention of blocking roads and commerce.
The ELN announced last month that the rebel group is formally engaged in peace talks with the Colombian government. The ELN is the second rebel group to be engaged in a peace process with President Juan Manuel Santos’s administration following the start of a similar process with the FARC, the country’s largest rebel group, in November of 2012.
The FARC talks are more than halfway through their formal negotiation agenda, with agreements already signed on the issues of political participation, drug cultivation, and agrarian reform. Neither the FARC nor the ELN have active bilateral ceasefires in place with the Colombian government, despite calls to end hostilities during peace talks.
The UN has vocally supported the FARC peace process, and has been involved in monitoring Colombia’s 50-year armed conflict and providing humanitarian aid to victims.
- Gobierno denuncia ante Naciones Unidas ataque terrorista del Eln (Ministerio de Defensa)