More than 600 Central African Delegates, taking part in the Bangui Forum, reached a historic agreement on national reconciliation, known as the Republican Pact, yesterday.

The Government of the Central African Republic (CAR) and nine of the country’s armed opposition groups, taking part in the Forum, also reached a ground-breaking accord on disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of the armed groups’ forces.

The Bangui Forum, which took place from 4 to 11 May 2015, brought together the CAR’s transitional authorities, political parties, religious and civil society representatives as well as armed groups. It took place as part of a broader process which seeks to advance the country’s national reconciliation and reconstruction following collapse of the Government and explosion of violence in late 2012.

“The Republican Pact is a strong public commitment to a peaceful future in the Central African Republic.» Freddy Nkurikiye, Representative of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) in CAR, said. “The successful conclusion of the Bangui Forum marks the beginning of a longer term reconciliation process.» he added.

Discussions at the Forum focused on four key areas: peace and security, justice and reconciliation, governance, as well as social and economic development. The ‘Republican Pact for peace, national reconciliation and reconstruction in the Central Republic of Africa’ agreed yesterday by the Forum’s Delegates, summarises the conclusions of the Forum’s decisions on those four areas.

Its main outcomes include:

  1. A consensus on the need to carry out a revision of the Constitution and the code of nationality enabling Muslims to become CAR nationals; a referendum on the Constitution followed by Presidential, legislative and local elections, as well as a call to postpone elections to a realistic date
  2. A consensual model of disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and repatriation (DDRR) allowing for the reintegration of rebels in the national armed forces or reinsertion into civilian life
  3. The establishment of a special criminal court and a popular truth and reconciliation process, as well as a strong call against impunity
  4. An agenda of humanitarian and development priorities including support to the return of refugees, infrastructural works and taxation of diamonds, oil and forestry exploitation

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), a private diplomacy organisation, has been providing close technical support and advice to the CAR’s national reconciliation process since 2014, as part of a two-year mandate by CAR President Catherine Samba-Panza to help establish a political dialogue that could contribute to the restoration of State authority, peace and the country’s reconstruction.
HD will continue to closely support the transitional authorities, the armed groups, as well as the political, civil society and religious leaders in their search for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in CAR.

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue’s work in CAR is supported by the European Union (EU), to which HD wishes to extend its thanks.