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Sudan’s al-Bashir invites Congo and Gabon leaders to CAR peace talks

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Fighters from the Christian anti-balaka militia stand at their headquarters in the northern Bangui suburb of Boeing, an area near the Mpoko International Airport of Bangui on Feb 22, 2014 (Photo Reuters)
November 3, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir extended an invitation to the Congo-Brazzaville’s President, Denis Sassou Nguesso and the President of Gabon Denis Sassou Nguesso to attend the opening session of Khartoum peace process to end the conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR).

According to a statement released in Khartoum on Saturday, Foreign Minister El-Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed Friday travelled to Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon on Friday to extend an invitation for the leaders of the two countries to take part in the opening session of the talks for peace in the CAR on 15 November.

Following his arrival to Libreville, Derdeiry met with Gabon’s Prime Minister Emmanuel Essoze-Ngondeton and handed him a letter from al-Bashir addressed to President Bongo. On the same day, he handed over another letter to the Congolese President Sassou Nguesso at his residence in Oyo.

"The Minister conveyed an invitation from President al-Bashir to his Gabonese and Congolese counterparts to attend these important discussions, pointing out that their personal presence will confirm the interest of African leaders in efforts to resolve the crisis in the CAR," said the foreign ministry.

"The Congolese president agreed to attend the Khartoum talks on 15 November," added the statement.

In mid-October, the Sudanese president sent his foreign minister to both Chad and the Central African Republic to rally support for the initiative to resolve a bloody conflict between the different groups of the central African nation.

According to the statement, the Sudanese top diplomat explained during these meetings the preparatory talks held by Khartoum with the opposition groups, which agreed to join the Khartoum peace process. He further briefed them about the positive indicators of the meetings.

The Sudanese presidential envoy also informed the two African leaders about the outcome of the meetings held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly with the African Union officials, African leaders and regional and international partners to push forward the ongoing efforts to end the crisis in the Central African Republic.

Last August, the Sudanese government hosted a meeting for peace in CAR including the main armed groups, the Christian anti-Balaka militia of Maxime Mokom and Muslim Seleka armed faction led Noureddine Adam. The Central African government was not part of the Russian-supported meeting.

The divided groups signed the Khartoum Declaration of Entente on 28 August 2018 where they accept to negotiate a peaceful settlement for the civil war that erupted in December 2012.

However, Two of the five signatory groups of Khartoum Declaration: the National Defence and Security Council (CNDS) of Abdoulaye Hissène and the Unity for Peace in Central Africa (UPC) led by Ali Darassa distanced themselves from the agreement on 19 October.

But El-Dirdeiry said they are conducting intensive consultations and meetings to convince all the armed groups to join the process.

(ST)

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