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Central African Republic: does the African Union initiative still come in useful?

22.09.2018
It is a question that completely makes sense when asked, at the time where the Russians invited themselves in search for ways and means of ending the crisis in the CAR. The Khartoum deal (North Sudan) under the Russian supervision, between the armed groups that scour some parts of the country, last week, is a good example of the new Central African-Russian partnership. Even if at the same moment, another meeting with these same armed groups was held at Bouar under the African Union Initiative (AU), whose goal is to take down their claims, one cannot prevent itself from asking whether the AU framework is still useful.

Many national observers believe that the fact that these two sessions where held at the same time, but in different places, hide shadows areas. At least, a desire for the Central African authorities to get around the AU initiative which for them, constitute a trap.

Moreover, what difference can be made between the Khartoum agreement and the Bouar meeting, except that in both cases, the armed groups undertake to guarantee a certain peace that for the moment one will not dare to say it is done for the moment and value their claims, prior to their participation in this long-awaited political dialogue?

For example, the Khartoum agreement aims to ensure security in areas under the control of armed groups, facilitate the movement of people and allow the gradual return of state authority in these areas, to highlight only these points.

This is to say that in form, this agreement gives hope and sparkles a day after crisis out of the country, for who wants to believe.

In background, the position of the armed groups did not decline by one iota. Saying, at Bouar, where they were gathered on the initiatives of the AU, according to some information we have, the representatives of these same armed groups have not only made the amnesty a necessity but have also demand the post of prime minister….

Whether in Khartoum or in Bouar, the question arises as to the optimal ways and means to be undertaken by the government to enable the real return of peace throughout the territory, the strengthening of social cohesion between the communities. And make national reconciliation a reality.

Since it is difficult for any compatriot to think that the armed groups will above all keep their commitment!

To the above question of knowing the optimal ways and means that will enable the government to bring back peace in the country, some rightly believe that the military defense cooperation between the CAR and Russia is sufficiently dissuasive to force armed group to seize the government’s outstretched hand, not to say lay down the weapons.

The least that can be said is the ostentatious support of some powers to these rebel groups, which we do not want to list here, at the sub regional, regional and international levels, which is a real brake on the country’s end-of-crisis process.

But now that the Russians have entered the dance, it is hoped that the data will change from the point of view of power balance between the government and the rebel groups.

All of us, the question that is going to weigh heavily is whether Russia has any margin of maneuver necessary to lead at the appropriate time, military operations against these armed groups?

This question, as far from being fanciful, is justified by the fact that some commentators in the country, think that the CAR must prepare beyond peaceful ways and means to resolve this crisis, to wage war on armed groups. This is to say that, it is only in this way that CAR will regain peace.

By Hervé SAMBA

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