Accessibility links

Central African Republic Government to Meet Rebels Monday in Gabon's Capital


The Central African Republic government and a leading rebel group are scheduled to resume peace talks Monday in the Gabonese capital, Libreville. The talks collapsed last month after the rebel Popular Army for the Restoration of Democracy (APRD) withdrew after rejecting a draft amnesty legislation that was being discussed in the Central African Republic parliament and concerns for possible war crimes charges by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Francois Lonseny Fall is the UN Special Representative to the Central African Republic. He told VOA Monday's talks will review all issues.

"Since the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement on the 21st of June between the Central African government and all the rebel groups, we have established a follow up committee, and normally this follow up committee should have met every month. But unfortunately, this is the first time that the committee will meet. I can say that since the signing of the agreement on the 21st of June, we didn't have ceasefire, we didn't have cantonment. And tomorrow's meeting, we want to see what is the problem with this agreement? Why we didn't succeed to have ceasefire," he said.

The talks collapsed last month after the rebel Popular Army for the Restoration of Democracy (APRD) withdrew after rejecting a draft amnesty legislation that was being discussed in the Central African Republic parliament and concern about possible war crimes charges by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Lonseny Fall said the concerns over amnesty are unique to the Central African Republic. But he said there cannot be true peace without justice.

"The concern is not only for the Central African Republic. The problem today is the problem of justice and peace. Yes, everybody wants in the world, but also peace cannot be done without justice. In Central African Republic, they agreed to grant amnesty to all the stakeholders, but we as the UN we insisted that if they want to give amnesty to they people, that should not interfere with the work of the ICC because a crime like genocide or crimes against humanity is not possible, according to Statute of Rome and the Statue of the ICC Court to give any amnesty for those types of crimes," Lonseny Fall said.

Using the example of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army rebels that in order for them to sign a final peace deal to end Uganda's protracted civil war, Lonseny Fall again said it was not the place of the UN to wave possible ICC indictments.

"This is a dilemma today. Everybody is saying that in some parts Africa that everybody is willing to have peace. But at the same time we want justice. I think the best way to have peace is to have normal justice in the country. It's the same problem in Uganda and the same problem in the Central African Republic," he said.

Lonseny Fall described the humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic as very bad. He said the UN has appealed to the various rebel groups, especially the APRD controlling the northwestern party of the country to allow humanitarian agencies to have access to the populations there.


XS
SM
MD
LG