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Central African Republic, armed groups sign deal in Rome
19 June 2017 - Representatives of most of the armed groups in Central African Republic on Monday [19 June] signed an agreement to honor an immediate cease-fire, after more than three years of sectarian conflict that have left thousands dead. The announcement in Rome followed negotiations between Central African Republic's nascent government and 13 of the 14 armed groups currently active in the country . . . (more)

Pope Francis meets with Muslims in Central African Republic
30 November 2015 - Pope Francis made a historic visit to the last remaining Muslim neighborhood in Central African Republic's capital on Monday, a move that almost immediately opened up a part of the divided city that had been closed off for months because of retaliatory violence between Muslim and Christian militia fighters. Pope Francis had insisted on coming to the PK5 neighborhood to appeal for peace in a country where two years of Christian-Muslim violence has forced nearly 1 million people to flee their homes, including thousands who have been living in a camp at the airport amid the wreckage of retired planes. (more)

Pope heads to Central African Republic with peace message
28 November 2015 - Pope Francis travels Sunday to Central African Republic, making the final stop of his first trip to Africa in a country where violence between Christian and Muslim militants has forced nearly 1 million from their homes over the last two years and created a divided capital. Many hope that the Pope's message of peace and reconciliation can usher in a longer-term stability in a nation of 4.8 million. The Muslim community in the capital's Muslim enclave, known as PK5, was eager to welcome Pope Francis, head of the U.N. operation Parfait Onanga-Anyanga said. Earlier this week, workers were busily repainting the cream-colored mosque he is due to visit a vibrant mint green. (more)

Central African Republic's rebels sign cease-fire
24 July 2014 - Representatives of the Muslim and Christian factions battling in Central African Republic signed a cease-fire agreement on Wednesday in neighbouring Republic of Congo. The ceremony was carried live on the Republic of Congo's state television. A civilian transitional government is now tasked with organizing national elections by February although violence is still raging in the country's provinces. (more)

Central African Republic factions take step towards peace
27 June 2014 - The two main factions in the Central African Republic's intercommunal conflict have taken a tentative step towards ending violence that has killed thousands and forced more than a million people to flee their homes. The mainly Muslim ex-rebel Seleka coalition and the Christian militias known as anti-balaka set up a joint committee of six members each on Thursday to prepare for peace talks under the auspices of conflict-resolution group PARETO. The committee represents a second step after the two sides held an initial meeting this month, according to Beni Kouyate, vice-coordinator of PARETO. (more)

Central African Republic names new Prime Minister in line with peace deal
17 January 2013 - Central African Republic President Francois Bozize named a new Prime Minister from the ranks of the opposition on Thursday in line with a peace accord signed with rebels last week. Nicolas Tiangaye, a lawyer and leader of the Republican Convention for Social Progress, had been nominated by the Seleka rebel movement following peace talks in Gabon's capital Libreville. (more)

Central African Republic signs peace deal with rebels
11 January 2013 - Central African Republic's government and rebels agreed to the formation of a national unity government under a ceasefire deal on Friday to end an insurgency that swept to within striking distance of the capital. The agreement, signed in Gabon's coastal capital after three days of negotiations mediated by regional neighbours, eases the biggest threat yet to President Francois Bozize's decade in charge of the minerals-rich former French colony. (more)

Peace deal announced for Central African Republic
11 January 2013 - Central African Republic President Francois Bozize and the rebels who sought to overthrow him have reached a deal that will allow him to stay in office until his term ends in 2016, officials said Friday. The announcement came after several days of peace talks in Gabon. On Friday, Bozize publicly shook hands with the rebel representatives -- whom he had denounced as terrorists just two days before -- and other political opponents to seal the deal that spares his ouster. (more)

Rebels, Central African government head to peace talks
7 January 2013 - Delegations representing Central African Republic's government and the rebels who now control much of the country's north headed Monday to Gabon for peace talks. Meetings are to begin Tuesday, with high-level discussions due to take place later in the week. (more)

Central African Republic rebels halt advance, agree to peace talks
2 January 2013 - Rebels in Central African Republic said they had halted their advance on the capital on Wednesday and agreed to start peace talks, averting a clash with regionally backed troops in the mineral-rich nation. 'I have asked our forces not to move their positions starting today because we want to enter talks in (Gabon's capital) Libreville for a political solution,' said Seleka spokesman Eric Massi, speaking by telephone from Paris. (more)

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A proven strategy to end war in the Central African Republic: Newstime Africa reports
30 December 2013 - Today, the military of the Central African Republic has an opportunity to overcome the cycle of war by deploying the scientifically verified Invincible Defence Technology (IDT), which neutralizes 'social stress'--mounting political, religious and/or ethnic tensions between rival factions, identified by experts in conflict resolution as the underlying cause of war. Over 50 research studies confirm that when the required threshold of experts practising IDT--Transcendental Meditation and its advanced techniques--is crossed, crime goes down, quality of life indices go up, and war and terrorism abate. The Central African Republic military has the opportunity to create national security, invincibility, and peace through IDT. But the time to act is now. (more)

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UN: Central African Republic facing hunger crisis
20 January 2016 - The United Nations is warning of a hunger crisis in Central African Republic that is affecting half the country's population. The U.N. World Food Program said Wednesday that some 2.5 million people in the conflict-ravaged country face hunger. The number has doubled in just one year, officials said. (more)

Impunity in Central African Republic must end: Amnesty
10 July 2014 - Fighters on both sides of the conflict in Central African Republic are living freely despite committing war crimes and some who have been jailed already have escaped from prison, Amnesty International said Thursday. The report from the international human rights group underscores the enormous security challenges now facing the country, which has been in near-anarchy for more than a year and where a nascent interim government still wields little control outside the capital. Thousands have been killed since the country's political crisis deepened in December 2013 and ignited unprecedented violence between Christian and Muslim communities. Perpetrators have shown 'no remorse or fear of sanction' despite the fact in many cases their actions amounted to crimes against humanity, Amnesty said. Even killings that were witnessed by international peacekeepers and journalists have not been prosecuted. (more)

New fighting in northern Central African Republic displaces thousands - UN
16 May 2014 - As fighting worsens in northern Central African Republic, United Nations humanitarian agencies and partners are working to protect displaced people and children, and to support conflict-hit farmers, it was announced on 16 May. More than 23,000 people were displaced in the Kaga Bandoror area as of 2 May, a figure nearly double from the level a month earlier, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Adrian Edwards confirmed. Briefing journalists in Geneva, Mr Edwards said the 'most of the displaced are Christians, mainly women and children. Many of the men are hiding due to fear of attacks by armed groups.' 'The displaced urgently need physical protection, food, non-food items, water, and sanitation, and other help,' he said. Although some food support is being provided by UNHCR's partner agencies, people are fast consuming their own food reserves, and are unable to cultivate their fields due to fear of attacks. Young people in the area are also in danger of being recruited by armed forces, not only as combatants, but also as cooks, porters, and guards. 'The growing number of children who continue to be used in this brutal fighting is yet another reminder of the unspeakable atrocities children are living every day,' said Souleymane Diabate, UNICEF Representative in CAR, in a press statement. (more)

UN official: We 'failed' Central African Republic
1 May 2014 - The international community has 'so far failed the people' of Central African Republic amid ethnic cleansing and thousands of deaths, the director of UN humanitarian operations declared Thursday, saying it hasn't sent enough security forces, or funding to turn the situation around. John Ging told reporters that the mood in one of the world's poorest countries is turning to 'resignation' amid unprecedented sectarian violence. People now blame Christians or Muslims instead of simply 'armed groups' as they did before, he said. 'People are losing their humanity,' he added. Ging briefed on his first visit to the country in three months, and he said there has been a 'very significant deterioration,' with 2,000 people killed during that time.'The reality is, thousands have been killed in the most brutal manner,' he said. 'Hundreds of thousands have fled. ... There has, in effect, been an ethnic cleansing.' More than 600,000 people have been displaced inside Central African Republic by the violence, and more than 330,000 have fled to neighbouring countries, according to UN figures. 'It's a collective failure for the international community that we were not able to provide security for people in their homes and they had to take a measure of last resort' and leave, Ging said (more)

Central African Republic: Rampant malnutrition in war-torn capital, Bangui - UN reports
25 April 2014 - The number of children being treated for severe acute malnutrition in the Central African Republic's war-torn capital, Bangui, has tripled since the beginning of 2014, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) confirmed today, predicting that more children are likely to suffer in the coming months. 'The majority of families have been unable to plant their crops or earn a living, and also due to poor access to safe water, sanitation and health care,' UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac told journalists in Geneva. Almost 680 children during the first quarter of this year were treated at the Bangui Paediatric Hospital, the city's largest in-patient centre, compared with 214 children last year. 'Here in CAR, more children will die from malnutrition and related diseases than from bullets,' said UNICEF Representative in CAR Souleymane Diabate. (more)

UN chief says Central African Republic peacekeepers 'overwhelmed'
6 April 2014 - French and African soldiers serving in Central African Republic are 'overwhelmed' by the 'state of anarchy' in the country, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday, a day after Chadian troops began withdrawing from the peacekeeping mission. The UN Security Council is due to approve next week a 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping force for the former French colony. The force will take over authority from African Union troops in an attempt to restore order to the country. But that force is not expected to arrive until September, stoking fears of a security vacuum as the interim government struggles to control intercommunal violence that has killed more than 2,000 people since December. During a brief visit to the impoverished country on his way to Rwanda, Ban appealed for more help and said the international community was at risk of repeating the mistakes of the 1994 Rwanda genocide, where some 800,000 died. Two thousand French peacekeepers and 6,000 African Union forces have failed to stop a conflict that erupted after the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power a year ago in the majority Christian state. (more)

Central African Republic marked by rising hatred, violence, and trauma - UN officials
30 March 2014 - One year after rebels seized power in the Central African Republic (CAR), the situation in the country is marked by rising hatred between communities, deteriorating security, and humanitarian conditions, and increasing fear and trauma among the population, United Nations relief officials warned. Since the conflict started in December 2012 following attacks from mainly Muslim Seleka rebels, thousands of people are believed to have been killed, and 2.2 million -- about half the population of CAR -- need humanitarian aid. With more than 650,000 people still internally displaced, and over 290,000 having fled to neighbouring countries, the conflict has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones as mainly Christian militias known as anti-Balaka (anti-machete) have taken up arms. Volker Turk, head of international protection for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, told a news conference in Geneva that the situation in the capital, Bangui, has deteriorated significantly in terms of security. (more)

UN official says 'terrifying' level of hatred in Central African Republic
20 March 2014 - Hatred between Christians and Muslims in Central African Republic has reached a 'terrifying level', the UN's top human rights official said on Thursday, warning that atrocities were being carried out with impunity. During a two day visit, Pillay held talks with interim President Catherine Samba-Panza, who took office after Seleka leader Michel Djotodia resigned in January under international pressure. Government officials frankly admitted there was no functioning army or police, no justice system, and no means of holding those responsible for violence, she said. While large scale massacres appeared to have stopped, thanks largely to the foreign troops, killings continue on a daily basis, mostly by the 'anti-balaka' militia. Pillay said some of the militia were mutating into criminal gangs, targeting Christians and other non-Muslims indiscriminately. The United Nations estimates some 650,000 people have been displaced within Central African Republic, while nearly 300,000 have fled to neighbouring states. UN agencies have reported a sharp rise in violence in the camps. (more)

Thousands of Muslims try to flee Central Africa Republic capital
14 February 2014 - Thousands of Muslims who tried to flee the violence in Central African Republic's capital were turned back by peacekeepers Friday, as crowds of angry Christians shouted 'we're going to kill you all.' The convoy was turned back as France announced it would send 400 more soldiers to its former colony mired in unprecedented sectarian fighting. The UN chief, meanwhile, warned Friday that in Central African Republic 'the very fabric of society, woven over generations, is being ripped apart.' In Bangui, some cars carried as many as 10 people as the convoy made its way through the capital, the second such mass exodus in a week. Christians gathered alongside the road to taunt the Muslims, many of whom have been targeted by murderous mobs in recent weeks. But the convoy, which stretched as far as the eye could see, was turned back because peacekeepers feared it would be attacked when going through some volatile parts of Bangui. Tens of thousands of Muslims have fled for their lives as Christian militiamen and crowds of angry civilians have stepped up their attacks in recent weeks. Muslims have been killed by mobs almost every day, despite the presence of peacekeepers. (more)

Central African Republic violence rages on
9 February 2014 - Raging violence in Central African Republic's capital, including mob attacks and an apparent assassination attempt targeting the lawless country's former justice minister, killed at least nine people over the weekend, witnesses and officials said Sunday. Bangui is suffering widespread bloodshed and looting despite the presence of thousands of French and African peacekeepers and the appointment of a new transitional leader last month. On Sunday morning, Rwandan peacekeepers intervened after an angry mob killed a young Muslim man accused of killing a young woman, said Olga Mouth, a resident of Bangui's Fifth District where the incident occurred. 'The young Muslim man was guarding two buildings belonging to Muslim businessmen who fled the city,' Mouth said. 'The crowd said he attacked the young woman who was sitting outside the buildings selling porridge. This angered the residents, who came out in droves to lynch him before looting and burning the buildings.' Rwandan peacekeepers opened fire on the crowd, killing a man who turned out to be the young woman's uncle, said Mouth. Anti-Muslim violence has escalated in Bangui in recent months, prompting many Muslims to flee the city. On Friday, thousands climbed aboard trucks protected by heavily armed Chadian soldiers in a mass exodus, cheered on by crowds of Christians. (more)


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