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France is not against Sudan’s efforts for peace in Central African Republic: FM

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Sudan's FM El Dirdeiry Ahmed speaks on 22 June 2018 (Photo SUNA)
November 19, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan Foreign Minister Dirdeiry Ahmed said France has no objection to the Sudanese efforts to achieve peace in the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR).

"France has informed us through more than a message that it does not object any Sudanese effort for peace in the Central African Republic, as long as it is done under the umbrella of the African Union," said Dirdeiry who is expected to hold talks with his French counterpart as he will arrive on Tuesday.

Last Thursday 15 November, the Security Council extended for one month the mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) after its failure to adopt a French-drafted resolution providing that an African-led initiative is "the only framework" for a solution.

During this one month period, the two permanent members have to reach a compromise to allow the adoption of the resolution. The U.S. showed some concerns related to the budget of the MINUSCA as they seek to reduce the different UN peacekeeping missions across the world.

The Russian Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyanski stressed the need to agree that all can to contribute to peace, stressing it should not be an area of competition. He further called on France to put aside "parochial national interests".

Russia, which sponsors the Sudanese-led meditation, signed a military cooperation agreement with the CAR earlier this year. also, the two countries have an agreement to develop the CAR’s mining sector and to involve Russian firms in the mining industry.

Dirdeiry underlined that his joint efforts with Russia are in line with the African Union initiative for peace and reconciliation.

"Sudan is working within the framework of the African initiative, which blessed the Sudanese efforts on peace in Central Africa, and affirmed Sudan’s support for all efforts being made," said Sudanese foreign minister.

He further said that the draft resolution does not take aim at the Sudanese efforts, stressing that all parties appreciate the efforts of Sudan and its keenness for the stability of all countries in the region.

The warring groups in CAR signed the Khartoum Declaration of Entente on 28 August 2018 where they accept to negotiate a peaceful settlement for the civil war.

The Central African Republic has been grappling with violence since fighting between the mostly Christian anti-Balaka militia and the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition broke out in December 2012.

In January 2017, The African Union adopted the African initiative for peace in the CAR. Further, in an effort to involve the neighbouring countries adopted in July 2017 a Roadmap for Peace and National Reconciliation in the CAR in partnership with the Economic Community of Central African States, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, Angola, the Republic of Congo, Gabon and Chad).

The purpose of this plan for peace is to promote dialogue and reconciliation between the warring parties before to launch a campaign to disarm the armed groups and secure a return to peace in the divided nation.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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