from OMAN MBIKO in Bangui, Central African Republic
BANGUI – A LONG-AWAITED peace agreement, brokered by Russia, between the government of the Central African Republic (CAR) and 14 armed groups, has at last taken effect after the final signatories inked the document.
Signed under the aptly-called Khartoum Agreement reached in the Sudanese capital recently, the arrangement is set to usher in peace to the Central African nation.
It has put in motion a process of forgiveness between the warring parties.
The breakthrough agreement enhances Russia’s prominence as a peacemaker after the world’s largest country by size played prominent role in the negotiations.
Russia is also a permanent security member state of the United Nations Security Council.
It is the eighth attempt in nearly six years to bring peace to one of the world’s poorest and most unstable countries.
Last August, the Russian government brokered a meeting for peace in Khartoum between the Christian anti-Balaka militia, led by Maxime Mokom,and Muslim Seleka armed faction, led Noureddine Adam.
This week, African Union (AU) Peace and Security Commissioner, Smail Chergui, told media, “We want to thank the Russian Federation for their participation in this process.”
The peace talks were held under the auspices of the AU, with significant contribution by the United Nations.
Experts noted the important role played by CAR President, Faustin-Archange Touadera.
During his election campaign for the 2015/16 polls, he made a commitment to peace.
It thus gives hope the Khartoum Agreement will bear fruit. Amnesty is considered to the rebel groups after observers noted that all participants in the peace treaty made serious commitments to harmony.
CAR, a country of about 5 million people, has been in crisis since 2013 when Muslim rebels seized power.
Thousands have been killed in the violence and more than 1 million fled their homes. Over 500 000 people fled the country as rebels controlled most of the territory.
– CAJ News