CAR rivals agree unity government

2013-01-12 09:00

Libreville - Central African Republic rebel groups on Friday signed a ceasefire deal with President Francois Bozize who agreed to set up a government of national unity and call new elections.

The accord was announced after three days of talks in the Gabon capital between the government and Seleka rebels who launched an offensive on 10 December.

The rebels swept aside the impoverished country's army, but stopped just short of the capital Bangui.

The government and rebels signed a ceasefire accord. The two sides and Central African Republic's political opposition also signed two political accords allowing for the appointment of a prime minister from the opposition and setting out other power-sharing details, according to the United Nations.

The talks were organized by the the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) which had sent troops to the troubled country as Bozize faced mounting pressure.

Chad's President Idriss Deby, current Eccas head, said the opposition and Bozize should start work on the transitional government "from tomorrow".

Under the accord, Bozize will be allowed to finish his mandate which ends in 2016 but he cannot replace the new prime minister during the transition period. Bozize has said he will not stand for a new term.

The agreement also calls for the withdrawal of "all foreign military forces" except those sent by the Eccas countries. Seleka made this demand specifically to secure the withdrawal of about 200 South African troops sent in December.

The UN Security Council welcomed the signature of the ceasefire, in a statement, which "emphasized the necessity of an expeditious implementation of these agreements and called on all parties to implement them in good faith."


The 15-nation council "urged all parties to allow safe and unhindered access to peoples in need of humanitarian assistance as quickly as possible" and for all civilians held by armed groups to be released.

The violence in the country of some five million has affected more than 300 000 children, with child soldiers recruited and some girls forced to act as sex slaves, according to UN agencies.

The United Nations withdrew non-essential staff and the dependants of all workers in December as rebels neared Bangui.

The UN humanitarian department, OCHA, has voiced serious concern about the plight of civilians amid reports of widespread looting and violence.

The UN's World Food Programme, which has suspended its operations in the country, says hundreds of tonnes of food have been stolen from warehouses across the country.

Central African Republic has been notoriously unstable since its independence from France in 1960.

Bozize took power in a coup in 2003 and has since won two elections.

The rebels accused Bozize of failing to uphold earlier peace deals and had called for him to face war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court.

They also said he planned to modify the constitution to allow him to seek a third term in 2016.

Up to 500 soldiers from Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Cameroon were sent after troubles in 2008. These troops have begun to pull out of the country.

Nearly 600 French troops are stationed in Bangui, officially to ensure the safety of the estimated 1 200 French nationals in the country.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-12 09:57

    . Wow, a compromise worked out "within days", with the help of neighbouring African leaders, shows clearly , that Africa can solve its own problems. Great leadership shown by Bozize and the Rebels, aka Opposition, especially by President Bozize, who agreed to limited powers and to step down in a few years time. And compliments to France, for rejecting to get involved in this dispute. Plus Africa's rsesponse to send urgently troops from various countries, including from SA, NOT to 'help' with the fighting, but to secure the population is totally admirable!! Well done, AFRICA !!!!

      DuToitCoetzee - 2013-01-12 10:06


      omo.naija.750 - 2013-01-12 13:02

      AnthonyfromAfrica - Noting surprising there in my opinion, it is just way it is supposed to be. People complain about how Africa does things differently but forget that Africa is the last continent on the planet to be introduced to modern civilization. Most of the countries in the west have been independent and introduced to modern civilization since 300 years ago unlike like Africa where the oldest independent country is not even 60 years old yet. Humans learn and adapt at a slow pace and Africa should not be any different. If you look at the Africa of 2000 to 2013 a lot has improved. The masses are becoming more aware of their rights and fighting for them. Government though not great are getting better. Case in point countries like Ghana , Nigeria ,Liberia ,Tanzania, Gambia ,Uganda, Mozambique, Zambia e.t.c has seen great improvements in their local economies and the lives of their citizens. People say Africa is slow , i disagree. Africa is moving at the same pace other countries are moving at the only difference is that we got introduced to modern civilization very late. You can’t expect a child who started school in 1990 to graduate before a child who started school in 1920.

      omo.naija.750 - 2013-01-12 13:11

      AnthonyfromAfrica - If the colonial masters did not exploit and enslave us in beginning and instead had regarded us as equals and taught to be civilized from the onset , we would have moved forward faster than this. Africans had to fight to be recognized as human beings and given a chance to live a normal life instead of a life of servitude. We are were finally given the chance less than 60 years ago so we are still toddlers in modern civilization.We will crawl ,stumble and fall but we will prevail. It is all a matter of time. I am proud to be African because our race is the strongest on the planet. We have endured all the pain, suffering, oppression ,War, civil wars,covert wars,sponsored wars,religious conflict ,Economic sabotage, bio warfare e.t.c and we are still standing. I doubt any other race can survive all we have been through. Everything we are today is because we defied those who tried to suppress us, we were told we could not do anything or achieve anything but we always proved them wrong. There is no profession or discipline on earth that we have not mastered or excelled at. Our biggest challenge now is focusing on our future and ignoring the distractions that try to pull us back.We also have to break through the barrier of deceit known as democracy which seeks to re enslave us via puppets.Democracy is a tool of western Governments to keep control of Africa.The earlier we adopt Meritocracy the better as that will ensure the smartest amongst us lead us.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-12 16:29

      . Before I respond to Omonaija, the following; I have decided , after this week end, to give it a break, commenting on this site. And I plan to do so for at least one year. My decision is twofold ! Firstly I am starting a new business venture, which will increase my working hours considerably. It will also involve lots of travel, mainly in Southern, Central and West Africa. Secondly, I believe it is important that 'oldies' should at times 'make space' for new commentators, and by leaving, might encourage some to join the ,comment space' Firstly, I apologize, to everyone who I have upset, made cross, or 'insulted'! And a great thank you to the many who have read my comments and opinions, as it would be pretty dumb to post a comment and no one would read it !! The 'thumb up and thums down' has always been controversial, but it does give a good indication, that one's comment gets read. ( Just in this name, anthonyfromafrica, I made 4288 comments, got 25007 thumbs up and 10810 thumbs down) !!!!!! I wish the readers and those who comment on this site, the very best !!!!!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-12 17:28

      Omonaija, WOW !!!!! Where do I start.....!!!! Your first comment is the easiest to reply to, as I largly agree with you, Although when you say "it supposed to be like that" , I would say, YES, but often it does not. The last elections in Kenya and the Ivory Coast, being a stark reminder of how it should NOT be done!! But , you are quite right, there are some good, even great, democracies in Africa, some of which you mention, but surprisingly left out, South Africa! What also surprises me, when you say; ""government though not great are getting better"" you don't mention Tunesia, Libya and Egypt, three nations that were , for decades under brutal dictatorships, and are now on the way to have governments with accountabilities!! Sure, colonialism in Africa was a total disaster, and the 'carving up'of Africa, on a conference table, hundreds of miles away from this continent, must surely be one, if not the most, crazy acts in world history !! You say; " I am a proud African " Well you got all the right to be !! I have been fortunate to have travelled in 30 African countries, and another odd 25 outside Africa. My conclusion is that Africans, by and large, are the most non racists race in the world. I also find Africans incredibly tolerant, compasionate and show a 'forgiveness' beyond believe!!! As I have the good fortune to be married to a Black lady, I ,and our mixed race kids, are exposed to African culture almost daily, and that is pretty ok!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-12 20:02

      . ""We also have to break through the barrier of deceit known as democracy which seeks to re enslave us via puppets.Democracy is a tool of western Governments to keep control of Africa.The earlier we adopt Meritocracy the better as that will ensure the smartest amongst us lead us."" WOW !! Although we agreed on a lot in your two comments, here our roads seem to split!!!!! Democracy, to my mind, is still the best way for a nation to be governed, and I myself prefer the kind of democracy they have in Western Europe, than which they have in the USA! We have seen far too many alternatives to democracy, especially here in Africa, which may start with the best intentions, but ALWAYS end up being a dictatorship, where there is ALWAYS corruption ( SA's corruption would in many cases be petty cash, compared with corruption in dictatorships ) and they ALWAYS end up in tyrranny. This is inevitable, as there is NO accountability and NO checks and balances !!! Robert Mugabe and muammar gaddafi being two great examples that power corrupts !! Both started off as great leaders, but to be able to stay in power, they destroyed the foundation of the great nation they were supposed to built!! The very first they destroy is press freedom, than the independence of the judiciary and than the foundation of the security forces gets destroyed as they no longer are there to protect its citizens, but to protect the leadership !! and than one has a receipe for disastaster!!!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-12 20:22

      Omonaija, I am also puzzled to what you said about democracy, but earlier in your comment , you praise certain African countries, like Ghana , Nigeria ,Liberia ,Tanzania, Gambia ,Uganda, Mozambique, Zambia etc...where democracy is working well !!!!! The only ones who don't like democracy , are extremists and radicals, for it is for them unfortunatelly a truth, that the MAJORITY of Africans have NO APPETITE for any kind of radicalism. Here in SA, Azapo and the PAC, are good examples , of what AFRICA does NOT want!! Before our first democratic elections they were spewing radicalism, hatred and racism. For one, they were going to drive the Whites into the sea. And look, who was driven into the sea. And more recent,the radicalism of the ANCYL, evaporated into hot air !!! It is not only that Africa needs democracy, it demands it !!

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-13 11:15

      Good riddance!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-13 12:30

      Fidel, The problem with you is, that you will ALWAYS remain a MINORITY, who believes the MAJORITY is wrong !!!! Now THAT is pretty dumb!!! Besides that in the time, you been on this site, it is very doubtful, you CHANGED the mind of ONE, never mind the masses , you so much wished to do so!!!! Now, THAT is even more dumb. Your history teacher forgot to teach you the most important lesson; Africa and its people, have NO appetite for RADICALISM nor any kind of EXTREMISM. Africans are looking for JOBS, so they can feed and educate their young ones !! To achieve this, Africa needs much foreign investments, to built strong economies!! And in the meantime, Africa needs Emergency Aid to feed the hungry and medicine for the sick!! To deny this, to Africa and its people is nothing but CRIMINAL!!!!!

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-13 13:16

      You flash your idiocy with great verve, I salute you and commiserate with those unfortunates whom you call family. Given your propensity for incoherent rambling, as evidenced by this post I'm replying to, I'll leave the conversation at that.

  • tshaba.tjemolane - 2013-01-13 11:01

    The power of political will. Good example President Bozize. I wish other African leaders could follow suit.

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