Expert: Armed Groups Risk CAR’s Peace Deal by Violating the Accord They Signed

An independent expert warns an agreement to restore peace and reconciliation in the Central African Republic is at risk because of violations by some of the signatories to the accord. The expert submitted her report Wednesday to the U.N. Human Rights Council.

CAR authorities view the agreement signed by the government and 14 armed groups on February 6 in the capital Bangui as a real opportunity to bring peace to this conflict-devastated country.

Independent expert, Marie-Therese Keita Bocoum says the deal allows for armed groups to participate in the running of the government. It highlights the importance of human rights and justice for the victims of years of conflict-inspired atrocities.

If implemented, she says true peace and development for the country could be achieved. Unfortunately, she says deadly coordinated attacks by several armed groups in the Paou region in May have violated the terms of the accord.

If these armed groups claim their place in the peace process, they must immediately put an end to violence,” she said. “They must also recall that they can be prosecuted criminally for the direct involvement in the commission of these heinous acts Such acts if they are not punished may endanger the success of the peace process.

Bocoum notes CAR’s justice system is not effective and must be reformed to meet peoples’ aspirations.

Source: Voice of America