Central African Republic

CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera Declares Unilateral Ceasefire With Rebels

Central African Republic (CAR) President Faustin-Archange Touadera on Friday announced a unilateral cessation with the armed rebel groups, saying he hoped it would lead to peaceful dialogue, reported Reuters.

In a televised statement, Touadera said o he believed the ceasefire would help protect civilians from violence and allow them to access humanitarian aid and basic services.

“Peace is priceless, and there is no true peace except that which comes from a frank dialogue between the sons and daughters of a country torn apart by endless crises such as ours,” the CAR president said. “We must give peace a chance, regardless of the atrocities and injustices suffered the suffering and bruises endured.”

He urged the rebel leaders to give peace, security, and living together with a chance, as a guarantee for the socio-economic development of the country. He stated that the move would take effect at midnight.

Touadera clarified that security forces could continue to act in self-defense and also maintain public order without violating the cease-fire. He added that the U.N. peacekeeping mission known as MINUSCA will continue its operations unaffected.

The CAR president announced that he would hold a national dialogue with his opponents shortly after being sworn in, but the talks have not yet materialized.

The spokesman for the main rebel alliance, the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), told Reuters that he welcomed the initiative and the CPC would respect the ceasefire if the government did.

In January, the rebels tried to seize the CAR capital but were forced to take steps back by security forces after intense fighting on the city’s outskirts.

The mineral-rich African country saw a period of relative peace in late 2015 and 2016, but violence then intensified once again. A peace deal between the government and 14 rebel groups aimed at ending years of fighting was signed in February 2019. Notably, several peace accords signed in the past had quickly fallen apart.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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