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Sudanese lawmakers call for better relations with new CAR government

April 28, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese legislators said the government needs to do more to improve relations with the new government in the Central African Republic (CAR) and amend its relations with Chad.

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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 22 February 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Luc Gnago)

The national assembly on Tuesday deliberated on the security situation in the CAR where African troops and a UN-backed French contingent are struggling to protect Muslims targeted by Christian anti-balaka militias.

Earlier this month, Chad announced the withdrawal of its 850 soldiers from the African Union force in the CAR, known as MISCA. The Chadian troops who are seen as siding with the Muslim Seleka rebels were accused by a local Red Cross radio of killing over 10 people in Bangui.

The head of foreign affairs committee at the national assembly, Mohamed Youssef Abdallah, in a report endorsed by the Sudanese parliament on Tuesday, urged to reconcile between the Muslim tribes and other Central African ethnic groups. He also called on the UN secretary general to cooperate with local religious leaders to achieve national reconciliation in the neighbouring country.

The MPs who demanded a closed-door session with the foreign minister to discuss the impact of the crisis in CAR on national security recommended the need to exert efforts to ease current tensions between Bangui and Ndjamena and to rebuild the tripartite force tasked with monitoring border areas between the three countries.

Some Sudanese lawmakers have also accused French troops deployed in the CAR of disarming Muslim militia, while failing to curb the heavily armed Christian militias.

The anti-balaka militia committed war crimes against civilians from the Muslim ethnic groups of Gula, Turku, Fertit, Runga, and Shuwa.

Earlier this year, the Sudanese army deployed troops along the border with the CAR, fearing that armed militiamen cross into the Sudanese territory. Also Darfur regional authority warned against their entry.

National assembly speaker Al-Fatih Izz Al-din told MPs that he invited his Central African counterpart to visit Khartoum next month, adding that the foreign ministry and Sudanese embassy in Bangui played a significant role tin evacuating Sudanese nationals from the troubled country.

(ST)