CONGO BRAZZAVILLE, Apr 23 – A reconciliation forum to end the conflict in the Central Africa Republic will be held in Bangui, early next month.
Convening of the forum follows the signing of a peace agreement between two warring factions in the Central Africa Republic in Nairobi early April.
“The forum is a culmination of efforts by President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Government of Kenya to bring peace to Central Africa Republic. All I can say is I am very proud,” President Denis Sassou Nguesso said when he met Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto at the Presidential Palace in Congo Brazzaville on Wednesday.
The Bangui forum is an important element of the transition roadmap to peace and stability in the CAR. The forum will discuss among others the holding of elections.
President Nguesso is the International mediator sanctioned by the African Union and the United Nation’s Security Council to mediate peace in the mineral rich West African country that has not known peace since independence from France in 1960.
President Nguesso requested President Kenyatta in November last year to host the two main protagonists in the CAR, the Anti-Balaka (mainly Christians) and the Ex-Seleka (mainly Muslims) and to mediate negotiations in search of peace and stability in the CAR.
President Kenyatta subsequently constituted a mediation team led by former Parliament Speaker Kenneth Marende and ambassador Zaddock Syong’oh.
“We have a mission as a generation to help bring peace to Africa. You have done your duty as a leadership to help an African country needing help,” President Nguesso said during his meeting with Ruto.
President Nguesso dismissed critics that have denounced the Nairobi initiative as lacking mandate as insincere.
“The problem in the Central Africa Republic is about Africans. What is wrong with an African country trying to help to bring peace?” President Nguesso asked.
He praised Kenya for bringing together combatants that have fought for years in violation of several agreements sponsored by France, CAR’s former colony.
“Africans cannot be going to Paris or San-Fransisco to solve their problems,” President Nguesso said.
Deputy President Ruto said Kenya was committed to helping troubled African countries as part of Pan Africanism.
Ruto conveyed President Kenyatta’s message of goodwill to President Nguesso saying the decision to request Kenya to host and mediate over the CAR conflict was a vote of confidence in Kenya’s leadership in peace efforts.
“Kenya is committed to ensure the peace process in the Central Africa Republic gets to its logical conclusion,” said the Deputy President.
Catherine Samba Panza who is the interim President of the transition government in the CAR supports the Kenyan initiative.
In her letter to President Kenyatta, she praises Kenya for the accepting to undertake what she calls a delicate mission.
“I recognize your humility and your Pan Africanism that led you to accept this delicate but noble mission in the service of peace and stability,” she said in her letter.