February 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – The Central African Republic (CAR)’s Government and armed groups initialled a peace agreement in Khartoum on Tuesday with a broad international and regional participation.
CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, who arrived in Khartoum on Tuesday morning, appended his initials on the agreement together with the representatives of 14 armed movements from the former Muslim rebellion and the Christian defence militias.
The signing ceremony was attended by Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir, African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki, Chadian foreign minister Chérif Mahamat Zene, Jean-Pierre Lacroix the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui and a number of representatives of Heads of State and Government, and heads of diplomatic missions in Khartoum.
The final signing ceremony is expected to take place in the capital Bangui on Wednesday as President Touadéra left Khartoum on Tuesday night.
Bashir called on the international community to sponsor and support the peace and reconciliation agreement in the Central African Republic.
Peaking at the signing ceremony, the Sudanese president called on partners to fulfil their commitments to the peace agreement in Sudan and in South Sudan.
He stressed that the international and regional attention to the agreement is a testament to the fact that peace is the choice of peoples and that wars lead to impeding development and stability and undermining trust among peoples.
He congratulated the people of Central Africa Republic on the peace agreement and peace-building under the umbrella of the African Union.
He pointed out that the agreement was a culmination of the efforts made by all, stressing that the joint experience under the umbrella of the African Union is a witness to the treatment of crises.
He pointed out that the challenge to international efforts lies in the sustainability of peace and the implementation of the agreement and meeting its requirements.
“The next stage will be a challenge for the people of Central Africa.”
This agreement, the eighth since 2012, was reached on Saturday after a dozen days of negotiations in Khartoum under the auspices of the African Union (AU).
“The Khartoum agreement paves the way for the return of peace in our country, it is now time to open a new page for the Central African Republic,” said President Touadéra.
Addressing the representatives of armed groups, he further said “Let’s go back together in Bangui to build our country together”.
The Central African President thanked President al-Bashir and the United Nations, African Union, Chad, Congo, Gabon, Angola, Cameroon, France, Britain, Russia and the United States for their support to the successful peace initiative.
He praised the efforts of the Commissioner of Peace and Security of Africa Ismail Sharafi who mediated the process and the Sudanese government representative.