CAR Factions Agree on Peace Accord

CAR Factions Agree on Peace AccordCAR Factions Agree on Peace Accord

Rival armed groups in Central African Republic (CAR) agreed on Sunday to a peace accord requiring them to disarm and potentially face justice for war crimes committed during two years of conflict.

The agreement signed between 10 armed groups and the defence ministry during a peace forum in the capital, Bangui, aims to draw a line under a conflict that has killed thousands and displaced nearly a million people in the impoverished former French colony, World Bulletin reported.

“On the path towards peace, the step made today is a very important one,” said Babacar Gaye, the top UN official in the country.

Violence flared up in March 2013 when Seleka rebels seized power, sparking reprisals from anti-balaka, or anti-machete, Christian militia, who then drove the bulk of the Muslim population out of the south.

“The fighters of all the armed groups accept and commit to putting a definitive end to the armed conflicts in the CAR,” the agreement said.

The process, which envisages some members of armed factions being absorbed into the army, will be supported by a 10,000- strong UN peacekeeping mission.

In another sign of hope for Central African Republic, which has a long history of instability and conflict, armed factions agreed last week to free all child soldiers and other children used as sex slaves or menial workers.

 Libyan Tribes to Discuss Peace

Egypt will soon be hosting a meeting that would bring together some 150 Libyan tribal leaders from across the country for talks aiming to end the country’s political crisis, a senior Egyptian diplomat said Sunday.

The meeting’s objective is to reach “an attuned political vision among Libyan tribes, since they play an integral role in Libyan society and are therefore able to push for a political solution to the crisis in Libya,” the source said.

“We’re in the process of deciding on a date for the meeting, but it will take place during the last ten days of May and will be attended by around 150 Libyan tribal leaders,” the source, requesting anonymity, told Anadolu News Agency.

The source went on to say that Egypt has “extended an invitation to UN envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon in order for the UN to be represented in the meeting just like the Arab League.”