CAR rebels agree tentative truce | News | DW | 10.01.2013
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CAR rebels agree tentative truce

Central African Republic's government and the Seleka rebel alliance have agreed to a ceasefire. The truce is only temporary, with fighters claiming they will wait to see about a more permanent agreement.

The rebel coalition that has seized control of much of the Central African Republic on Thursday said it was prepared to observe a week-long ceasefire.

"The principal of a ceasefire has been agreed and the parties are going to sign it shortly," said one source close to the negotiations, asking not to be identified.

It remained unclear if the rebels would accept the permanent proposal of a unity government under President Francois Bozize. The rebels have previously demanded that Bozize resign as a precondition for peace.

However, Florian Ndjadder, a spokesman from the Seleka rebel coalition, told the AFP news agency that the fighters would use the week-long period to see if Bozize could be trusted.

'Accept defeat'

Bozize himself arrived in the capital of Gabon, Libreville, on Thursday afternoon to join the talks. A day earlier, Seleka - a coalition of three rebel factions - had urged him to acknowledge his "military defeat."

The two sides have been talking in Libreville, where the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) is based, since Wednesday.

ECCAS aims to bring about an end to the crisis after rebels in the north launched an uprising in early December and swept south over larges swathes of the country.

African leaders have deployed hundreds of troops in recent weeks to bolster Bozize’s military against the rebels. The opposition fighters accuse the president of going back on a 2007 peace deal to provide jobs to former rebels who gave up their weapons.

rc /ccp (AFP, Reuters)