African Union Says Ready To Organize CAR Peace Talks, Host City To Be Chosen- Commissioner

African Union Says Ready to Organize CAR Peace Talks, Host City to Be Chosen- Commissioner

The African Union is prepared to organize formal peace negotiations between the government of the Central African Republic (CAR) and the militia groups as soon as it decides on the conference venue, the Union's Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, told Sputnik.

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 07th December, 2018) The African Union is prepared to organize formal peace negotiations between the government of the Central African Republic (CAR) and the militia groups as soon as it decides on the conference venue, the Union's Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, told Sputnik.

The African Union has been leading mediation efforts in the conflict between the government in Bangui and various rebel groups operating in the CAR. In August, rebel groups presented a list of nearly 100 demands that need to be satisfied before a peace agreement can be signed.

"I think more or less we are almost ready, I think it is now to see where we are going to convene the dialogue. Is it in Bangui, in Addis Ababa or elsewhere? I think that's where we are. We want to make sure that we speak the same language with everybody," Chergui said, expressing hope that the conference will be convened "as soon as possible."

The conference will provide the sides with an opportunity to fine-tune their positions, conclude discussions and then "hopefully sign the [peace] agreement."

The CAR has been struggling to overcome internal conflicts for years now, with around 615,000 people displaced in the country due to the crisis, according to the United Nations.

On August 27-28, the major warring parties participated in Russia-brokered peace talks in the Sudanese capital. The meeting resulted in the signing of the Khartoum Declaration, which provided for the creation of an opposition union, which could pave the way for a long-lasting peace in the country.