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Bangui Begins Move Toward Unity Government

  • VOA News

Michel Am-Nondokro Djotodia (L), leader of Central African Republic's (CAR) Seleka rebel alliance, stands beside CAR's President Francois Bozize (R) during peace talks between the government and the opposition rebels in Libreville, Gabon, January 11, 2013.

Michel Am-Nondokro Djotodia (L), leader of Central African Republic's (CAR) Seleka rebel alliance, stands beside CAR's President Francois Bozize (R) during peace talks between the government and the opposition rebels in Libreville, Gabon, January 11, 2013.

The Central African Republic's president has begun implementing a peace agreement with rebels that calls for a unity government in Bangui.

President Francois Bozize said he has dissolved the current government, effective immediately, and that a new prime minister will be nominated by the political opposition.

Details of the C.A.R. peace agreement reached during talks in Gabon indicate that Bozize will remain in power as president. The plan is intended to restore stability to the Central African Republic following rebels' seizure of about one-third of the country's territory.

The uprising that began a month ago had targeted Bozize for removal, on the grounds that he had failed to carry out the terms of previous peace agreements, in 2007 and 2008.

The new plan calls for Bozize to remain in office through the end of his term in 2016, with the opposition naming a prime minister to run a transitional government. Neither the prime minister nor Bozize would be eligible to run in the next presidential election.

Bozize said late Friday that new legislative elections will be held in 2014.

The United Nations Security Council hailed the deal and urged both sides to implement it in good faith. A Council statement commended what it called "swift efforts" by the African Union and the Economic Community of the Central African States, ECOWAS, to resolve the recent crisis.

In addition to his pledge to comply with all provisions of the Libreville peace agreement, Bozize said he will work to strengthen ties with China, and to promote oil exploration and development in the landlocked African nation.
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