Central Africa govt inks peace deal with militias

Khartoum: The government of the Central African Republic and 14 armed groups on Tuesday inked a new peace accord seeking to end years-long fighting that has left thousands of people dead.
The accord was initialled by President Faustin Archange Touadera for the CAR government and representatives of militias which control most of the chronically-troubled country.
It will be formally signed in the CAR capital of Bangui “in the coming days,” Touadera’s office said, without announcing a date.
“The Khartoum Agreement opens the door for peace to return to our homeland,” Touadera declared at the ceremony. “It is now time to open a new page for Central Africa. Let’s go together to Bangui to build our country together.”
The agreement, brokered by the African Union after 18 months of exploratory work and sponsored by the UN, is the eighth attempt in almost six years to forge peace in a country that is a byword for turmoil and poverty.
Thousands of people have been killed and a quarter of the population of 4.5 million have fled their homes.
Herbert Gontran Djono Ahaba, speaking on behalf of the armed groups, said: “The difficult time starts now, and that is implementing the Khartoum Agreement… This agreement is crucial for peace.” — AFP