CAR prepares for peace talks

2013-01-07 21:08
Soldiers of the multi-national Force of the Economic Community of Central African States arrive at the airport in Bangui. (Sia Kambou, AFP)

Soldiers of the multi-national Force of the Economic Community of Central African States arrive at the airport in Bangui. (Sia Kambou, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bangui - Embattled President Francois Bozize of the Central African Republic arrived on Monday in Brazzaville for talks with his Congolese counterpart, who is poised to mediate in talks between Bangui and a rebel alliance, an AFP journalist said.

Bozize "should return in the afternoon" after his meeting with President Denis Sassou Nguesso, a government source said. The Congolese leader is due to oversee peace negotiations set to open on Tuesday in Gabon's capital Libreville.

The Seleka alliance of three rebel movements took up arms on 10 December in northern CAR and has since moved steadily southwards, taking a string of towns, to stop within striking distance of Bangui.

The rebels initially called on the Bangui government to respect the terms of peace accords signed in 2007 and 2011, but have since upped their demands to include the departure of Bozize.

The Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) will host negotiations between the rebels and Bozize's regime in a bid to end the crisis in the mineral-rich but very poor landlocked state.

"We must work tirelessly for the consolidation of peace in the Central African Republic, by bringing the government and the armed rebellion into dialogue," Sassou Nguesso told diplomats shortly before meeting Bozize at the airport.

"This is the occasion to invite the international community to support the efforts of (CEEAC) with a view to restoring the stability required for the development of this brother country," he added.

The Central African bloc has also sent more troops to strengthen FOMAC, its multinational intervention force in the Central African Republic. The soldiers are serving as a buffer force between the rebels and Bangui.

Separately, South Africa has also sent troops. President Jacob Zuma's office said about 400 men in all would be deployed "to render support in fulfilment of an international obligation".

SA mercenaries

One of the rebel groups that make up the Seleka alliance, the Wa Kodro Salute Patriotic Convention (CPSK), on Monday denounced the South African contribution.

It accused Pretoria of "coming to the aid of enemies of the people" by sending "mercenaries", adding: "Bozize wants to plunge the country into chaos before his imminent departure."

The delegations had initially been expected on Sunday in Libreville but were now thought to be arriving on Monday, a source close to the Central African presidency said. Once the talks were under way, Bozize would also travel to the Gabonese capital, the source added.

Eric Massi, the spokesperson for Seleka, on Sunday confirmed that the rebels would attend talks, but asked for more time to prepare. The head of the rebels, Michel Djodotia, had "committed himself to going to Libreville", he added.

Paris-based rebel spokesperson Massi said on Sunday that the Seleka coalition wanted a political solution, but insisted that Bozize's departure was non-negotiable.

Central African Minister of Territorial Administration, Josue Binoua, said each delegation would have 15 members who would put "proposals for a way out of the crisis" to a committee led by Sassou Nguesso.

Binoua said the government delegation to Libreville would propose "army reform, an economic stimulus plan and the implementation of a new electoral code."

Pope Benedict XVI said on Monday that he hoped the peace talks would spare the five million inhabitants of the coup-prone and chronically unstable country from enduring another civil war.

"I hope that the talks announced as taking place shortly will restore stability and spare the people from reliving the throes of civil war," Benedict said in a speech to ambassadors of the Holy See.

Bozize, a former army general, came to power in a coup in 2003 and has been voted back into office twice, in 2005 and 2011. His regime has made peace with several rebel movements, but stands accused of breaking them.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  francois bozize  |  denis sassou nguesso  |  south africa  |  gabon  |  car  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Newlands - 07:31 AM
    Road name: Newlands Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bowwood Road
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 07:19 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Constantia Main Road and the Woolsack Drive exit
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3525.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.