from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – THERE is a high level optimism for lasting peace in the Central African Republic (CAR) after the government signed a deal with 14 rebel groups following a fortnight of talks held in neighbouring Sudan.
The historic deal sealed in the presence of CAR President, Faustin Archange Touadera, will be formally concluded in the capital Bangui on Wednesday.
During the draft agreement signed on Tuesday in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, the parties to the conflict gave assurances to the complete cessation of hostilities.
The assurances by rebel groups to end violence against civilians as well as complete amnesty to perpetrators of the violence are contained in the document.
Earlier, Abacar Sabone, a political adviser to one of the opposition groups, said the issue of amnesty was crucial for the resolution of the crisis.
“Sacrifices are needed. If we want peace, we must forgive some people and move towards national reconciliation. This is not an insult to the memory of the victims but to save what is left,” Sabone opined
According to the agreements reached, Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, is a guarantor to the agreement.
Touadera and his Sudanese colleague, in their speeches, thanked the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN) and Russia Federal Government for their assistance in organizing the breakthrough negotiations.
Russia and Sudan played a decisive role in the organisation of negotiations.
Before the talks in Sudan, seven peace agreements had been signed since the beginning of the CAR crisis that began at the end of 2012 but none of the deals had managed to bring stability.
Conflict has gripped the Central African country of 4,5 million inhabitants after rebel militia overthrew the government of François Bozizé, who was president at that time.
Rival militants control an estimated 80 percent of the landlocked country.
– CAJ News