-- ZENIT.org News Agency
Central African Republic Bishops Call For Immediate Resolution to Conflict
Weeklong Cease-Fire Declared Between Rebel Forces and Local Government
LIBREVILLE, January 11, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Rebels with the Seleka coalition have accepted in the principle the terms of a cease-fire for a week in the Central African Republic. According to Fides News Agency, the cease-fire announcement was made in Libreville, the capital city of Gabon where peace talks between authorities of the Central African Republic and the rebels have been held.
Despite calling for the resignation of President François Bozizé throughout the conflict, the rebels did not include it as a precondition to the agreement. The Seleka coalition has asked in recent days for the indictment by the International Criminal Court of President Bozizé "for war crimes and crimes against humanity." The rebels have also demanded the release of political prisoners in the region.
Negotiations are expected to continue between the two parties in the capital city with various Heads of State who are part of the community of Central African States (CAS). The CAS is a regional organization that has mediated the crisis and has also deployed peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic.
In a message to the nation, the Catholic Bishops of the Central African Republic have denounced the violence against children in several areas conquered by the rebel force and condemned the forced recruitment of children as soldiers.
Along with calling for an immediate ceasefire, the Catholic Bishops asked for humanitarian aid to be delivered to people in areas conquered by the Seleka rebels as well as a resolution of the conflict through dialogue.
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