Central African Republic Will Not Negotiate With Union For Peace Rebel Group


Central African Republic Will Not Negotiate With Union for Peace Rebel Group

BANGUI (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 08th April, 2021) The government of the Central African Republic (CAR) will not hold negotiations with the armed Unity for Peace in Central Africa (UPC) group, which recently quit the rebel coalition that had accused car President Faustin-Archange Touadera of election fraud, Ange Maxime Kazagui, a spokesman for the government, told Sputnik.

"The government does not intend to hold negotiations with armed groups that do not wish to abide by a political peace agreement," Kazagui said.

On Monday, UPC head Ali Darassa said that the group was withdrawing from the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), although it remained committed to the peace deal signed by the CAR government and over a dozen armed groups in February 2019.

"The CAR government's current position, however, is not a response to this decision, but was adopted as a result of ongoing attacks after the group's withdrawal from the Patriots for Change Coalition," Kazagui added.

The official further noted that other rebel groups had made similar statements in the past but still took part in offensive operations carried out by the CPC.

The security situation in the CAR has deteriorated since a 2013 coup, after which the country saw fighting between Muslim-majority Seleka and Christian Anti-Balaka militias. The government and the leaders of 14 armed groups struck the peace deal in February of 2019 to put an end to the long-lasting conflict. At present, the government has yet to regain control of large swathes of territory.

In December, the country held a presidential election. The country's Constitutional Council court confirmed Touadera's victory in the presidential election, with 53.9 percent of the vote in the first round. Some electoral districts were unable to cast ballots in militia-controlled areas, and some only managed to hold a partial vote because of intimidation by armed rebels.

In March, the CAR held a runoff legislative vote, as well as first-round voting, in areas where violence obstructed the electoral process back in December.