from OMAN MBIKO in Bangui, Central African Republic
BANGUI, (CAJ News) – THE dialogue between all parties involved in the conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) has been hailed as a historic step towards ending the civil war ravaging the country since 2013.
Civil society and religious leaders are also present in the new round of negotiations that began on Thursday in the Sudan capital, Khartoum.
The African Union (AU) facilitated the talks.
Ministers, parliamentarians, representatives of political parties of the presidential majority and the opposition as well as 14 armed groups are participating.
Firmin Ngrebada, Minister of State and Chief of Staff to President, Faustin-Archange Touadera, is leading the government delegation.
He expressed satisfaction with the exercise considering leaders of all political groups had arrived to take part in the talks.
Experts stress the importance of the meeting in Khartoum and call it a historic event for the Central African country and its citizens.
While the current negotiations are held under the auspices of the AU, has made a great contribution to the organisation of the diplomatic initiative.
Russia laid the groundwork for the talks.
It is Russian diplomats who first proposed a format in which Bangui directly entered into dialogue with representatives of armed political groups and provided a platform for negotiations on neutral territory, with neighboring Sudan a feasible option.
Russia’s diplomatic efforts led to the successful signing of the Khartoum Declaration in August 2018.
According to the document, the political groups decided to “create a common framework for dialogue and action for a real and lasting peace” in the country.
The landlocked country has been suffering from a drawn-out conflict since a coup in 2013.
Rebel groups, consisting of Muslim radicals and Christian extremists control a majority of the country of about 5 million people.
– CAJ News