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Khartoum Talks: CAR Border Security Agreed, Final Accord to Be Signed Next Week

Sputnik News

22:55 02.02.2019(updated 23:36 02.02.2019)

MOSCOW (Sputnik) Sofya Grebenkina - The government of the Central African Republic (CAR) will sign a peace agreement with armed groups in the country's capital of Bangui on Monday or Tuesday (4-5 February), Adolphe Nahayo, the Economic Community of Central African States'(ECCAS) ambassador to CAR, told Sputnik.

"The agreement will be signed in Bangui on Monday or Tuesday", Nahayo said. The African Union-brokered negotiations between the CAR government and militant leaders began last week in Sudan and ended on Saturday.

The parties to the African Union-brokered talks in the Sudanese capital agreed on a mixed-border security mechanism between Bangui, the armed groups and the UN mission to the crisis-torn country.

"They agreed on mixed mechanism between MINUSCA [UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission], the government, UN troops, and some people from armed groups and national forces where they can be deployed. [This mechanism] will secure the borders and to keep safe the animals which are passing through some areas", Adolphe Nahayo said.

The CAR government and armed groups also agreed to appoint a special commission to track all crimes committed beginning in 2013.

"Now in justice they agreed that they will appoint a commission – armed groups and government – to account all the crimes which have been committed since 2013, during this crisis and they will make a report to a national commission of reconciliation, which will clarify which crime is against humanity, which crime can be a war crime, because those have to pass to the International Criminal Court. For the others it will be transitional justice. And between the work of that commission there will be no judicial action", Adolphe Nahayo said.

According to Nahayo, the president of the Central African Republic (CAR), Faustin-Archange Touadera, will appoint a new prime minister one week after the signing ceremony for the peace accord.

"Now, when the agreement is done, the president will appoint a new prime minister and they will compose a new, inclusive government. [The appointment] will take place as soon as possible […] A week after [the peace agreement is signed] they are supposed to appoint a new prime minister", Nahayo said.

The African Union-led talks that commenced January 24 are the first direct talks between the government of CAR and 14 opposition groups. The CAR government sent a delegation of senior ministers to the talks, led by the president's chief of staff, Firmin Ngrebada.

Landlocked CAR has been suffering from a long-drawn-out conflict following a 2013 coup. Much of the fighting in recent years has been between Muslim-majority Seleka and Christian Anti-Balaka militias. According to UN data, up to 6,000 people have been killed.

In August 2018, the two groups agreed to establish a platform for consultations on sustainable peace in CAR. The groups then also called on the government to engage in reconciliation with support from Russia, the European Union and other regional and international powers.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in late October that it intended to maintain assistance to CAR in rebuilding its armed forces. The ministry said that in early 2018 Moscow supplied CAR's army with small arms and ammunition as well as sending 175 military advisers to train CAR servicemen.

The ministry added that Moscow would send additional military advisers and a second shipment of military supplies to the African country, and stressed that all such assistance programs were being carried out in compliance with the UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions regime.

Meanwhile, the UNSC unanimously voted for an extension of the arms embargo against CAR, for an additional year.

Under a draft resolution sponsored by France, the UNSC established benchmarks to meet met by the end of April, including reforming the government's security sector, disarming and demobilizing militias, and managing weapons, as a means of lifting the embargo. If the CAR government meets key benchmarks by September 30, the UNSC will reconvene to address easing the arms embargo measures, according to the text of the resolution released on Thursday.


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