By: Najat Ahmed
Khartoum –Central African Republic rivals forwarded their proposals to the AU and Sudanese mediators for discussion to reach joint common understandings in this round of talks which started in Khartoum Thursday. Informed sources affirmed that all CAR parties are satisfied that Sudan is the only place in which they can strike peace deal, adding that the mediation will continue its efforts to convince all the parties that Sudan is the appropriate place to achieve comprehensive peace in CAR.
He pointed out that this round of talks has a big burden on Sudan, and accordingly there were good preparations to make the negotiations a success, adding that the talks started with positive spirits from the rivals. For his part, member of the Sudanese mediation team, Ambassador Mohammed Yusuf stated to Sudan Vision that it is the first time for 14 CAR movements to sit round together round a negotiations table due to their satisfaction that peace should prevail, adding that the talks include security arrangements, power and wealth share.
It is to be noted that the talks include the Central African government, 14 armed groups, and representatives of civil society groups. Also, the discussions are brokered by the African Union and the host country Sudan which had already organized a first round of talks in August 2018.
The armed groups which control about 80% of the national territory have various demands from regional autonomy to development projects. Also, some rebel leaders have developed a flourishing business, far more lucrative than peace, according to UN reports.
The opening session took place in Khartoum on 24 January with the participation of African Union and United officials as well as foreign diplomats based in Khartoum. The talks which are taking place within the framework of the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic In his capacity as lead facilitator, Chergui encourages all parties to engage positively towards a peace agreement in the Central African Republic.
African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui and the head of UN peacekeeping Department Operation Jean Pierre Lacroix Saturday met the parties to the conflict in the Central African Republic to engage positively towards a peace agreement. The current round of discussions is scheduled to end on 2 February. Also, a final peace agreement should be signed in the CAR capital Bangui.
In statements to the Senate on 23 January, Jean Yves Le Drien, the French foreign minister expressed hope that the Khartoum peace talks allow “to reach a peace agreement by March”. The regional and international involvement aims to put pressure on the parties to swiftly conclude an agreement but also to seriously commit themselves to its implementation. UN officials estimate that 63% of the population in the Central African Republic (nearly three million) are in need of need humanitarian assistance and protection. UN reports point to a rise in attacks against civilians and aid workers, adding that there is an increase of 16 per cent for humanitarian assistance in 2018.