Colombia's president on Monday appointed a new high commissioner for peace after the last resigned amid anti-government protests that have claimed dozens of lives.

The official is charged with advising the government in an ongoing peace process with armed groups following a deal in 2016 that ended decades of civil war in Colombia.

Added to this task, outgoing Miguel Ceballos was also put in charge of negotiations with leaders of a campaign of anti-government protest that started on April 28.

President Ivan Duque on Monday appointed Juan Camilo Restrepo, a tax lawyer and former agriculture minister, to replace Ceballos.

Restrepo will be tasked with "strengthening the search for peace" in Colombia, Duque said on Twitter.

Officially, 43 people have died in clashes since the protests started, initially against a proposed tax reform that has since been withdrawn.

Demonstrations have continued in the face of a violent police crackdown that has drawn international condemnation.

The authorities said a protester, 21, and a 22-year-old police officer died over the weekend in further clashes in the city of Cali.

It is the second police officer reported killed since the clashes began.

Duque said Ceballos "will continue to accompany the government in dialogue and negotiation" with the protesters.

Ceballos has been part of Duque's team since his election in 2018, but resigned after a disagreement with former president Alvaro Uribe, still one of the most influential people in the ruling party.

"On two occasions, unfortunately, I was not consulted by former president Uribe during contacts he and his representatives had with the ELN", Ceballos said in an interview with El Tiempo newspaper published on Saturday, referring to Colombia's last active rebel group.

In 2019, Duque broke off negotiations with the ELN -- or National Liberation Army -- initiated by his predecessor, Nobel Peace laureate Juan Manuel Santos, after a car bomb claimed by the ELN that killed 22 police cadets.