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Colombian rebel group rejects peace talks with gov't

(Xinhua)

13:07, August 30, 2011

BOGOTA, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Colombian rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), said Monday it refuses to hold peace talks with the government because the government was using deceptive strategies to restrict it.

In a statement posted on its website, the ELN said that President Juan Manuel Santos' administration is continuing the policy of the previous administration under President Alvaro Uribe, because "when he (Santos) talks about peace, he blocks the possibilities of moving towards it."

According to the statement, for years the ELN's guerrillas have been killed or abandoned by the state or society once they agreed to lay down their weapons and be demobilized.

With more than 3,000 members, the ELN is the second largest rebel group in Colombia, after the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which has 8,000 members. The internal conflicts between rebel groups and the Colombian government have lasted for more than 60 years.

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