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19 June 2017 | Central African Republic

In Rome, C. Africa govt inks peace deal with rebel groups

AFP
L-R: National Convergence Kwa Na Kwa party general secretary Bertin Bea, Republic of Central Africa foreign minister Charles Armel Doubaned and Central African president political advisor George Isidore Alphonse Dibert pose on June 19, 2017 in Rome.  By FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (AFP)
L-R: National Convergence Kwa Na Kwa party general secretary Bertin Bea, Republic of Central Africa foreign minister Charles Armel Doubaned and Central African president political advisor George Isidore Alphonse Dibert pose on June 19, 2017 in Rome. By FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (AFP)

Rome (AFP) - Central African Republic's government on Monday signed an "immediate ceasefire" deal with rebel groups during a meeting in Rome aimed at ending violence in the strife-torn country.

The truce will see armed groups be given representation in the political arena in exchange for an end to attacks and rebel blockades.

It is part of an accord brokered by the Sant'Egidio Catholic Community.

"We commit to the immediate implementation by political-military groups of a country-wide ceasefire, to be monitored by the international community, as a fundamental step on the way to definitive peace," the deal read.

"The government undertakes to ensure military groups are represented at all levels," and are "recognised as part of the reconstruction efforts", it said.

The rebel groups pledged to ensure "the free movement of people and goods by removing illegal barriers as an immediate consequence of the ceasefire".

Sant'Egidio's president Marco Impagliazzo described the accord as "an historic agreement, a deal full of hope".

One of the world's poorest nations, CAR has been struggling to recover from a civil war between the Muslim and Christian militias that started in 2013.

Just as the country looked set to begin turning the page on years of bloodshed, a flare-up of sectarian violence last month killed more than 100 people.

Another 100,000 were forced to flee their homes in May, according to UN numbers.

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