Central African government, rebels sign peace accord
"In signing up, the parties are showing their willingness to strive towards a definitive peace and resolve the serious problems which have beset CAR for years and which require national dialogue,"
- CAR Information Minister Cyriaque Gonda
Libreville (AFP) June 21, 2008 - The Central African Republic's government and two rebel groups signed a "comprehensive peace agreement" on Saturday which leaves the door open for a third rebel group to sign on.
The accord, which builds on individual pacts agreed by the government with each rebel movement, was signed in Libreville, Gabon, by CAR's main rebel force, the Popular Army for the Restoration of Democracy (APRD), led by former defence minister Jean-Jacques Demafouth, and Damane Zakaria's UFDR.
A comprehensive agreement uniting the three rebel groups and the government is a precondition for the organisation of a so-called Inclusive Political Dialogue that is to include all parties -- the ruling administration, rebels, the legal opposition and civil society.