A Ten­ta­tive Cease­fire In CAR

Solitaire - - BULLETIN -

By IRIN | www.irin­news.org

While the cease­fire signed in Braz­zav­ille on July 23 by the two prin­ci­pal armed fac­tions in the Cen­tral African Repub­lic (CAR) – the ex- Seleka and anti-Bal­aka – was widely greeted as a pos­i­tive step for­ward, an­a­lysts are scep­ti­cal it can lead to last­ing peace.

The agree­ment ne­go­ti­ated dur­ing a three-day Fo­rum for Na­tional Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in CAR and me­di­ated by Repub­lic of Congo Pres­i­dent De­nis Sas­sou N’guesso, in­volved CAR re­li­gious groups, trade unions, civil so­ci­ety, the Na­tional Tran­si­tional Coun­cil and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

The agree­ment stip­u­lates that all par­ties will ab­stain from all forms of vi­o­lence, in­clud­ing sum­mary ex­e­cu­tions, tor­ture, ha­rass­ment, ar­son, loot­ing, ar­bi­trary de­ten­tion and ex­e­cu­tion, the re­cruit­ment and use of child sol­diers and civil­ians, and sex­ual vi­o­lence.

Gen Mo­hamed Moussa Dhaf­fane signed the agree­ment on be­half of the (pre­dom­i­nantly Mus­lim) ex-Seleka, and Pa­trice Edouard Ngaïs­sona on be­half of the (pre­dom­i­nantly Christian) anti-Bal­aka.

“Be­fore the world we take a firm, fi­nal and ir­re­versible ces­sa­tion of hos­til­i­ties for the en­gage­ment,” said Gen Dhaf­fane. “No one has the right to take up arms to ter­rorise and ter­rify an en­tire peo­ple.”

Arch­bishop of Ban­gui Dieudonné Nza­palainga and Imam Kobiné Layama, who have been strong pro­po­nents of peace through­out the cri­sis, also signed, as did the pres­i­dent of the tran­si­tional par­lia­ment, Alexan­der Fer­di­nand Nguen­det. Cather­ine Samba Panza, pres­i­dent of the CAR tran­si­tional gov­ern­ment, took part in the fo­rum, which brought to­gether some 300 par­tic­i­pants.

Pre­lim­i­nary agree­ment

The agree­ment, how­ever, fell short of what the me­di­a­tors had an­tic­i­pated. The par­ties failed to sign a po­lit­i­cal com­mit­ment to support the tran­si­tion to the next elec­tion, the date of which has yet to be set.

There was also hope that a de­mo­bil­i­sa­tion, dis­ar­ma­ment and rein­te­gra­tion (DDR) plan would be agreed upon, but ul­ti­mately it was not dis­cussed at the meet­ing.

The talks in Braz­zav­ille had been marred by bit­ter dis­putes, and there was fear they may scup­per any deal. The ex- Seleka boy­cotted the meet­ing for the first two days, de­mand­ing that CAR be

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