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CAR peace ceremony in Khartoum delayed to Tuesday

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Gen Ahamat Bahar, ex-Seleka, and now leader of the armed group MNLC, poses for photographs in front of his home in Betoko, northern Central African Republic, on December 27, 2017. (AFO Photo)
February 3, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese Foreign Ministry Sunday announced the postponement of the initial signing of an agreement for peace in the Central African Republic negotiated during the past two weeks in Khartoum.

The Sudanese mediator to the negotiations Atta Mannan Bakhit stated on Saturday that the agreement will be initialled on Sunday in Khartoum while the final signing will take place in the CAR’s capital Bangui next Wednesday.

"The initial signing of the Central African Peace Agreement was postponed until Tuesday (5 February), in the presence of Central African President Faustin-Archange Touadéra," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Babikir al-Siddiq in a brief statement on Sunday.

The Sudanese diplomat, however, did not elaborate on the reasons for the delay.

For his part the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui told the official news agency that the deal for peace in the CAR is a big achievement.

Chergui noted that it is the first time that the leaders of 14 armed groups meet at the negotiating table with the Bangui government to reach a peace that will achieve security and stability in the country.

"The various parties agreed to establish a mechanism to follow up the implementation of the agreement on the ground so as to avoid the past mistakes and pave the way for the people of this country to achieve peace and security," he said.

He expressed the African Union’s appreciation for the Sudanese government and people for hosting the negotiations, stressing it reflects Sudan’s keenness to restore security and peace throughout the African continent.

On the other hand, the spokesperson for the armed movements in Central Africa, Suleiman Daouda described the negotiations in Khartoum as better than ever before, as provided an opportunity for the government and its opponents to meet for the first time.

He further described the peace deal as a good agreement pointing that it satisfies the demands of government and the armed groups alike.

The armed groups wanted to represented in the government but also the security arrangements provides to integrate the rebel fighters in the national army. The peace pact includes a national reconciliation process.

(ST)

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