CAR peace deal


The Central African Republic reached a peace deal with 14 armed groups after talks in Khartoum, the United Nations said, potentially ushering in a period of stability in the volatile country.

Central African Republic has been rocked by violence since 2013 when mainly Muslim Selaka rebels ousted then president Francois Bozize, prompting reprisals from mostly Christian militias. UN peacekeepers were deployed in 2014.

“We finalised a peace agreement in Khartoum, enabling the people of Central African Republic to embark on a path of reconciliation, agreement and development,” the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smaїl Chergui, said in a tweet.

The terms of the deal were not immediately released.

Conflict in Central African Republic uprooted more than a million people, the United Nations said, and has shown little sign of abating.

The talks, which started on January 24 with support from the United Nations and the African Union, were meant to stem the violence that has spread across the provinces and over which overstretched armed forces have little control.

Peace is not certain, despite the deal. Similar agreements in 2014, 2015 and 2017 all fell apart.

A government spokesman said the deal heralded a “new era” for the country, while armed groups also expressed optimism.

Abakar Sabom, a spokesman for the FPRC, one of the main groups, said: “We were able to agree on what is essential for Central Africa: peace. We hope this agreement will bring back social cohesion to the country.”