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Rebels Accuse Colombia of Violating Truce

January 07, 2002|Associated Press

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia's second-largest guerrilla army has accused the armed forces of endangering the peace process by stepping up military actions during a unilateral rebel truce that ended Sunday.

The National Liberation Army, or ELN, vowed to halt kidnappings and bombings of oil pipelines and electrical towers during the 20-day truce that began Dec. 18.

In a communique read late Saturday to local RCN radio, ELN founder and leader Nicolas Rodriguez said the rebels had fulfilled their promise but accused the army of using the truce to secure military gains.

Rodriguez said the actions raised "grave questions for a real peace process."

There was no immediate response from the government of President Andres Pastrana, who had welcomed the holiday truce as a step toward peace.

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