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452 words - January 18, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
The international community unanimously welcomed the signing in Libreville, the capital of Gabon, of a ceasefire and a political transition that halted a rebel advance on Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). With a long history of political instability and recurring armed conflict, the CAR was about to become a failed State as an alliance of rebel groups – made up of the Convention Patriotique pour le Salut du Kodro, the Convention des Patriotes pour la Justice et la Paix Centrafrique, the Union des Forces Démocratiques pour le Rassemblement and the Front Démocratique du Peuple Centrafricain and known collectively as Séléka – had been sweeping across the north east towards Bangui as their final objective.
The United Nations (UN) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) organized peace talks which resulted in a power-sharing solution. It plans the holding of legislative elections within 12 months along with a real improvement of the security conditions throughout the country by developing reliable government's security forces. "The security is fundamental to peace and development; the CAR requires a functional and effective army and security forces, government has to be present in all parts of the CAR," the Secretary-General's Special Representative and Head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in CAR (BINUCA), Margaret Vogt, told a meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC). And the CAR's situation looked similar to Mali's. "The failure of the national army to repel (Séléka's) aggression is indicative of the depth of decay within the armed forces," Ms. Vogt said. Also, at a meeting in the Chadian capital of N'Djamena in December, the African countries agreed to deploy troops that they have not sent yet.
According to several statements, this inaction could result partly from the disruption caused by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) which continues to perpetrate attacks in the CAR but also in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). "The Lord's Resistance Army remains a vicious and persistent menace to the people of central and east Africa," US Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis said on December 18. Moreover, the UN and the African Union (UN) acknowledged it was increasingly difficult to seek the funding for a strategy against the LRA. "We hardly have the means to fight against the LRA whose chief Joseph Kony is said to have less than several hundreds militants under his leadership. So you can easily understand why the Séléka was no real priority," an African source told DiploNews. Anyway, the Libreville agreements have shown dialogue was still possible. Now, the UN wants its African partners to keep their promise and the Libreville negotiating parties to stick to the accords they signed.
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