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Accord in Central African Republic brokered by Sant'Egidio community

Catholic World News - September 09, 2013

After negotiations hosted by the Sant’Egidio community in Rome, leaders of the Central African Republic have issued a joint statement confirming the “irreversible choice” of their country for democracy and pluralism, and pledging to work for reconciliation after a period of chaos and bloodshed.

The Central African Republic has been in turmoil since March, when the Seleka rebel group ousted a government led by President Francois Bozize. A new transitional regime, led by President Michel Djotodia and the Prime Minister Nicolas Ntiangaye, has struggled to restore order, with rebels continuing their campaigns in parts of the country and widespread human-rights violations.

The “Rome Appeal” issued on September 10 represents the fruit of several days of talks among political and religious leaders of the Central African Republic. The document, which sets forth plans for avoiding future conflicts and plans for elections in 2015, will become official if it is approved by the transitional government leadership.

The participants in the talks suspended their negotiations on Saturday, September 7, to join in the vigil of prayer for peace led by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square.

The Rome Appeal was brokered by the Sant’Egidio community, a lay community based in Rome that has offered mediation in many conflict areas, especially in Africa.

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