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Central African Republic peace process in 5 points

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1. Geography
The Central African Republic has an area of 622,000 km2 and a population of over 5 million inhabitants. Located in the center of the continent, the country borders Chad, Sudan,South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville and Cameroon. The southern region is rich in water, as it is crossed by some tributaries of the Congo River, and covered with forests, sources of valuable timber, the main wealth of the country. From a religious point of view, half of the population is Christian, with a prevalence of Catholics, while Muslims are 15%.

2. History
The country was a French colony up to 1960 and owes its independence to Barthélemy Boganda, a Catholic priest that after the Second World War - which was fought by numerous Central Africans alongside France - founded the Social Evolution Movement of Black Africa and claimed the right to emancipation from colonialism. Acting as the first head of the government of the proclaimed Central African Assembly (1958), Boganda never saw true independence (1960), as he died in a mysterious plane crash in 1959. From 1962 to 1993 several military regimes changed until the presidency of Ange- Felix Patassé, democratically elected for two terms in 1993 and 1999. In 2003, Patassé was deposed by General François Bozizé, who maintained power until 2013.

3. Civil war
The civil war began in December 2012, when the rebel group Séleka, composed primarily of Muslims and mercenaries from neighboring countries, succeeded in defeating President Bozizé's troops and occupying the north of the country. In early 2013, the rebels conquered the capital Bangui, while Bozizé had to seek shelter in Cameroon. Séleka's leader, Michel Djotodia, proclaims himself as the new president, but he can't unify the country, especially because of the resistance of anti-Balaka militias, predominantly Christian. It's a period of great suffering for the population, thousands of people are forced to abandon their homes, because of violence, raids, hunger and epidemics.

4. Peace process
Since 2013, the Community of Sant'Egidio, whose first relations with Central Africa date back to the 1990s, has worked with political parties, armed groups, representatives of religious communities and civil society to foster national reconciliation. The mediation work led to the signing of the "Pacte Républicain" in November 2013 by President Michel Djotodia, Prime Minister Nicolas Ntiangaye and the President of the National Transitional Council Alexandre Ferdinand Nguendet. In February 2015, at Sant'Egidio's headquarters, an important agreement was reached, that guaranteed the peaceful conduct of parliamentary elections and the commitment of the main parties to respect election result.
Pope Francis visited the Central African Republic in November 2015. The cathedral of
Bangui is the first Holy Door opened by the Pope for the Jubilee of Mercy.
In November 2016, President Touaderà gave the Community the mandate to involve all armed groups in the peace process.

5. Today
The meeting of representatives of the government and the various political-military groups held in Rome these days and on which the President of the Community, Marco Impagliazzo, was invited to report to the UN Security Council on 12 June 2017, is a significant step forward for the end of the civil war.
Read more
The meeting ended on June 19th with the signing of a "Peace Agreement in Central Africa", that the parties named "Entente de Sant'Egidio".Read full text



Comments on the Community

June 20 2017

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A delegation of the Community of Sant'Egidio meets the President of the Central African Republic Touadéra

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