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Colombian Rebel Group ELN Begins First Ceasefire Agreement in over Half a Century
The commander of Colombia’s largest rebel group, ELN, ordered his fighters on Friday to begin a ceasefire with the Government’s armed forces, a move that officially marks a truce between the two parties after five decades of nonstop war, newswires report. The ceasefire is expected to continue through mid-January, while the Colombia President expresses his hope of extending it further and build the foundation of a long term peace with the ELN. Negotiations surrounding the truce began on 4 September, and since then, the ELN has continued to conduct acts of terrorism on the nation’s oil pipeline infrastructure. The ELN has targeted Ecopetrol’s 210,000 b/d Cano Limon Oil Pipeline 43 times during 2016 and 44 times since the start of this year, according to Ecopetrol officials.
Crude Oil is Colombia’s top export commodity (37% of all exports), with the US being the primary destination of these exports. Colombian July crude shipments to the US were at 356,000 b/d. up 11% m-o-m but down 33% y-o-y.