In hopes of ending the conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR), the first ever face-to-face peace talks were called in Sudan on 24 January between the government, civil societies, and armed groups.
The talks were to address the crisis that erupted in CAR in 2012, when a rebel movement called Seleka seized towns in the north and central part of the country. This resulted in a religious war between Muslims and Christian militia over the powers of the state, the death of thousands and fleeing of millions.
Currently, armed groups in the country control 80% of the state’s territory.
The African Union (AU) led the discussion under the theme ‘African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic’. They urged the parties involved to talk about effective, peaceful measures to rebuild the country.
Some believe this reconciliation is overdue seeing as the United Nations has estimated that 63% of CAR’s citizens are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection.
According to political experts, the talks were a clear indication that it becomes difficult to speak of criminal justice when there is no peace in a state. The result of the peace talks in CAR was the establishment of the truth commission.
The final peace agreement will be signed on 2 February in the capital city, Bangui.