CAR peace treaty unlikely to hold, warns bishop of Bangassou

(Bangui) – “When the agreement reached in Khartoum was signed, it was already a dead letter the next day in Bangui”, said His Exc. Mgr. Juan José Aguirre Muños, Bishop of Bangassou, in commenting on the agreement between the Government of the Central African Republic and 14 rebel groups. The agreement was negotiated in Khartoum and then signed on 6 February in the Central African capital, Bangui.
The fact that the negotiations took place in the Sudanese capital and not in Addis Ababa the Ethiopian capital and the African Union’s headquarters, according to Mgr. Aguirre, is significant because the leaders of five rebel groups feared being arrested there because wanted by the Court International Criminal Court. Sudan, on the other hand, does not recognize the Court therefore Khartoum was a safe place for them.

“It is the eighth peace agreement signed in two years”, recalls Mgr. Aguirre in an interview with Vida Nueva. “Rebels control 80% of the Country and only the remaining 20% is in the hands of the government”.

So why was such an agreement signed? “The negotiation was imposed by the international community to save face” said Mgr. Aguirre. Those who gained an advantage are not the citizens of Central Africa but “the rebels, all the radicalized or criminals and almost all non-Central Africans” armed by some Arab countries that in turn buy arms in the United States, says Mgr. Aguirrre. “All this happens with the complicity of the African Union and France”.

“The rebels are calling for an immunity decree applicable to all (even if the International Criminal Court will not take it into account) and the office of Prime Minister, with the sole aim of dividing the Country in two. Even if they already control 80% of the mines of diamonds, gold, cobalt, mercury, they want more”, says the Bishop.

The poor inhabitants of Central Africa are paying the price. Mgr. Aguirre concludes by putting himself “in God’s hands to transform the hearts of the violent, no one must resume hostilities again and all must seek peace”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 15/2/2019)

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