Six armed groups – the UPC, MPC, RPRC, MLCJ, Anti-Balaka (Mokom faction) and the FPRC)* – signed an important peace agreement Tuesday 9 April in Bria, in the Central African Republic (CAR), which is expected to put an end to more than six years of violent conflict in the eastern region of Haute-Kotto.
The Accord is the result of talks convened by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) between the groups from 1-9 April 2019 in Bria.
It also marks the culmination of months of intensive local mediation efforts led by HD to bring an end to violence across the Haute-Kotto region.
Repeated attacks by the groups in the area since 2013 have led to the loss of many lives, widespread destruction of property and the displacement of thousands of people. The violence has also increased the divide between the Christian and Muslim communities which has been instrumentalised by the armed groups.
The Bria Agreement builds on the Accord for Peace and Reconciliation in the CAR (APPR), which was signed on 6 February 2019 between the Government and fourteen armed groups, including the six Bria Agreement signatories.
Under the terms of the Bria Accord, the parties have committed to:
- Putting an end to violence;
- Ensuring peace and security throughout the region;
- Resolving grievances peacefully;
- Refusing the instrumentalisation of differences based on politics, ethnicity or religion ;
- Ensuring the safe return of refugees and internally displaced persons; and,
- Guaranteeing the free movement of persons, goods and services, and humanitarian personnel.
The follow-up committee set up under the APPR will be in charge of monitoring implementation of the Bria Accord.
“This Agreement represents an important step in strengthening the APPR and turning Central African people’s hope for peace and reconciliation into reality.” said Freddy Nkurikiye, HD’s Special Representative for Central and West Africa.
HD has been working in support of peace in the CAR since 2007, assisting both the country’s National Political Dialogue and community-based mediation efforts.
HD played a key role in the 2008 Inclusive Political Dialogue, the 2015 Bangui Forum, the 2016 electoral process and more recently, the 2019 APPR process.
The organisation has also been involved in the facilitation of local agreements such as the 2017 Bouar Agreement between the 3R and anti-Balakas armed groups which enabled the stabilization of parts of the Nana Mambéré province.
HD would like to thank the parties, the United Nations Multi-dimensional, integrated and stabilization Mission (MINUSCA) as well as the local administrative, traditional and religious leaders for their support to the mediation process which led to the Bria Agreement.
The organisation would also like to express its gratitude to the European Union for its financial support which has enabled HD to support peace efforts in CAR since 2014.
*UPC: Unité Pour la paix en Centrafrique; MPC: Mouvement Patriotique pour la Centrafrique; RPRC: Rassemblement Patriotique pour le Renouveau de la Centrafrique; MLCJ: Mouvement des Libérateurs Centrafricains pour la Justice; FPRC: Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de la Centrafrique