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GRAND ANGLE/Centrafrique: The Complicated Path to Peace

Alwihda Info | Par Sandra Martin-White - 1 Janvier 2015 modifié le 1 Janvier 2015 - 19:08

Sandra Martin-White

BANGUI (LNC) — Babacar Gaye, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in CAR and also the Senior Head Chief of The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA), at a press conference on December 30 in Bangui, stated how he is feeling good signs for the future in the Central African Republic.
"If I had to summarize in one word what inspires me on December 30, 2014, that word would be 'hope,' Gaye said initiating his speech.

"We are moving in the direction indicated by the Security Council," Gaye added, recalling the recent consultations and the prospect of gathering the Bangui Forum, which he said were the "backbone" of his faith in the peace process.
Because the strife-torn Central African Republic is showing signs - even if in confusion - of moving towards broad national dialogue - a direction prescribed by the Security Council as critical to ensure lasting peace.


Reviewing the MINUSCA's accomplishments, he pointed to "tangible advances" in protection of the population, notably the deployment plan for forces in the country.
"We do not yet have a full house but personally I am satisfied with the attitude and the results already achieved by our forces," he said, noting that 764 interventions had been carried out, along with 244 arrests, 50 of which were for illegal possession of weapons.
"Notorious criminals were arrested. They have already been transferred or are being transferred to Bangui. This attitude is positive, it will continue," he proudly proclaimed.


The violence is not actually over in the province, mostly controlled by the rebels.
But Gaye said that despite fresh clashes in Berberati for example, peacekeeping forces had intervened "very robustly."
And he continued to reiterate what for him is on the fire.
Reconciliation efforts continued in the country's East and centre, including an agreement in Bambari between parties to make peace in the city and he underlined that the Mission's role in prevention, along with its 'good offices' mandate, superseded its capacity for intervention.

The Mission's pursuit of the restoration of State authority was broad and extended beyond support for the Government. Mr. Gaye said he was pleased at the mobilization of 200 million CFA francs for a rapid impact project in a northern district of Bangui, despite the recent death of a taxi driver there.

"Such situations are, unfortunate jolts that will continue, but at a much lower frequency because there are forces such as the FPU [Formed Police Unite] involved immediately at the scene and working to calm such situations," he said, adding that although the path would remain a difficult one, the population aspired to peace and stability and that gave him hope.


However, another element comes into play in his tight scenario and weigh even heavier on the field of his optimism.
From Nairobi - Kenya, it is said that an anarchic peace forum is being put in place, knowing that the Bangui Forum is the sole planned, and officially to be launched.
According to a source from Brazzaville (Congo), the "Nairobi Forum" shall be convened by President Denis Sassou Nguesso, mediating the CAR crisis, on his own initiative, or at the request of the African Union.
CAR interim President Catherine Samba-Panza, and as well her Cabinet would not be invited to participate.
But, former Presidents Michel Djotodia and François Bozize, the main responsible figures for the present chaos in CAR are attending the meeting; on the pretext that - according to Sassou - they have the keys to peace in their hands.
When asked that question the day before yesterday by Radio France International (RFI), Modibo Bachir Walidou, the Minister of Territorial Administration and spokesperson for the Government of CAR stated that:
"On behalf of the government of the Central African Republic, we regret that this meeting takes place without the legitimate high authorities of the Central African Republic; or been remotely associated with. We regret the existence of such initiatives, created to disrupt the course of events."

Accordingly, all the efforts for the implementation of the already highly complicated Bangui Forum are already ruined.
A profound discredit for president Samba-Panza.
President Denis Sassou Nguesso didn't trust her, the African union either.
For a leading Western diplomat in Bangui, "It is likely that they think President Samba-Panza is not the capable person able to rule a so important National Dialogue for Peace, with her propensity to just shaking hot air."
For another observer: "How do you expect that this woman can be seen as a credible actor for the national reconciliation while she never leaves Bangui to visit people in province?"

That's how things go in Centrafrique.
Even when it is necessary to seek for Peace, they still find the way to wage war.

© January 2015 LNC