ROME, JULY 13 – Less than a month after the government of the Central African Republic has signed an “immediate ceasefire” deal with rebel groups thanks to the mediation of the Community of Sant’Egidio in Rome, the UN Security Council has welcomed the agreement “representing a step forward for peace and stability of the country”. The 19th June accord – at the center of statement by the President of the Security Council for July, Wu Haitao (China) – was reached after days (and nights) of negotiations in Trastevere, a neighbourhood of Rome where the Italian NGO has its headquarter. The “political agreement”, that included a gradual disarmament of the rebel factions and a process of national reconciliation, has paved the way for the pacification of the African country, plagued by years of civil war and internal tensions that have caused thousands victims and refugees.
Today in Rome, the Sant’Egidio International Relations representative, Mauro Garofalo, who was recentely in mission to Bangui, described the current status of the deal peace. “The agreement is alive and supported by a strong and renewed will of peace by all the actors, civilian and religious, involved in the Central African Republic crisis”, the Sant’Egidio International Relations representative said. During his recent visit Garofalo met with the Central African Republic President Touadera, ministers and deputies of the National Assembly of the African country, as well as with leaders of military-political rebel groups and religious authorities, including Cardinal Nzapalainga, the current Archbishop of Bangui.
Cardinal Nzapalainga has received the delegation of Sant’Egidio together with other members of the Central African Bishops’ Conference, expressing its support for the agreement. Also President Touadera showed trust for the peace process and described the “Rome agreement” as “historic”. The president himself highlighted that in the day he received at the Presidency palace all the representatives of the armed groups, who then signed the agreement, he said to them: “By signing this accord you have shown that you want to enter into History from the main door. “
Garofalo reaffirmed the effort and will of the Community of Sant’Egidio to support the implementation of the peace process, underlining the “need to get out of the spiral of violence through a dynamic of reconciliation and forgiveness”. For this reason, Garofalo announced that “in the coming days a ‘Comité de Suivi’ will be created and it will be composed of representatives of the Presidency of the Central African Republic, the National Assembly, armed groups, the UN Mission and the Community of Sant’Egidio”. According to Garofalo its main objective “will be to monitor the fulfillment of the peace agreement conditions and to resolve the difficulties in the disarmament process. It’s time for the Central Africa Republica to turn the page. With the Rome agreement, a process has begun and it will give to millions of people of the African country peace and the opportunity to lead a normal life.”
(@Onuitalia.com, July 14)