Central African Republic's President Declares Unilateral Ceasefire

Central African Republic's President Declares Unilateral Ceasefire

BANGUI (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 16th October, 2021) President of the Central African Republic (CAR), Faustin Archange Touadera, on Friday declared unilateral ceasefire in order to facilitate citizens' access to humanitarian assistance following months of conflict with rebels supporting the opposition.

"I am announcing to you this evening the end of military operations and all armed actions throughout the country, starting from this day, October 15, at midnight," Touadera said in a statement, adding that "the immediate unilateral ceasefire is a demonstration, if necessary, of my firm will to choose the path of dialogue, not weapons, to resolve the crisis shaking our country."

He believes that the ceasefire will allow citizens in areas occupied by armed groups to gain access to humanitarian aid and essential social services, as well as protect them from indiscriminate violence.

The violence erupted in the African state in 2013, when ex-president Francois Bozize was toppled by rebels, who also took over the car capital of Bangui. The city turned into a battlefield between a former Islamist movement known as Seleka and its Christian-majority antagonists, known as Anti-Balaka.

The United Nations deployed a contingent to the CAR in 2014 to ensure the protection of civilians amid the bloody conflict.

In February 2019, Touadera and leaders of 14 rebel groups signed a peace agreement, consenting to arranging for an inclusive general election in a bid to ensure a peaceful transfer of power. However, the country has seen another outburst of violence in December of last year during the general election, when Touadera's opponents accused him of electoral fraud.