ROME, JUNE 20 – The Central African Republic is no longer on the brink of disaster thanks to the political agreement reached yesterday in Rome with the mediation of the Italian Ngo Community of Sant’Egidio. “We hope that this compromise will put the end to the intense clashes between the multitude of armed groups that have caused hundreds of deaths and thousands of refugees, especially in the south of the African country,” Italy’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mario Giro said after the outcome three intense days (and nights) of negotiations between opposition groups, facilitated by “The little UN of Trastevere”, as the Community is known because of his wide range of activities, including diplomatic efforts to attain peace.
Deputy Minister Giro expressed his satisfaction with the talks, stressing the continuity of the community’s work for peace: 25 years ago in Rome, after years of patient and finally successful mediation, a peace deal was sealed for Mozambique, and it was the beginning of a vaste mosaic of negotiations to end the world most intractable conflicts
“During these days of negotiations the Community of Sant’Egidio has spoken to the African country’s conscience in the hope of ending years of internal conflicts and bringing peace and stability to the Central African Republic”, Giro remarked, “I therefore express my gratitude to Sant’Egidio community, always able to find original and disinterested way to weave together multiple threads of dialogue that hatred and violence seemed to have destroyed”.
The results of the peace talks between the political and military organisations in the Central African Republic, including the President Faustin-Archange Touadera, and representatives of the international community, were announced at a press conference in Rome. The delegations attending the meeting in the Italian capital had been greeted on Sunday at Piazza San Pietro by Pope Francis, who renewed hope for the peace process in the African country to be relaunched and strenghten.
The compromise calls for an immediate ceasefire. The agreement was signed in the presence of international observers, the UN envoy Parfait Onanga -Anyanga, and representatives from the European Union and the Italian Government. The agreement is built around three main objectives at the political level, regarding security, economic and humanitarian/social issues.
As well as the respect of the ceasefire under the control of the international community, the first key point claims the will to respect the integrity of the national territory, the representativeness and recognition of all political-military groups for the reconstruction of the country, respect of the results of the 2016 presidential and legislative elections and, in general, the determination to build “a dynamic of reconciliation”. At the security level, the free movement of persons and property is guaranteed by the compromise which reasserts also the authority of the state throughout the country. For what concerns economic, humanitarian and social fields, commitments are reaffirmed to the reconstruction and in the protection of national and international NGOs working in the country.
“During these past few days we have seen tensions loosening between rival groups who until a few days ago refused to talk. Dialogue is always the only possible way. The country’s spiritual leaders have played an important role in preventing the situation to get worse and negotiations to fail. In the restored context of cooperation, now everyone seems to recognize that the future of the Central African Republic can only be entrusted to a path of peaceful coexistence, a democratic spirit, and a ban of weapons and violence.” (@OnuItalia)