Bishops’ Commission in CAR Want Khartoum Agreement Respected amid Renewed Clashes

Fr Frédéric Nakombo, Secretary General of the Justice and Peace Commission, CAR

At a time when recent renewed clashes have left dozens dead in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference has urged the warring parties to implement the agreement reached in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, in February.

“We urgently appeal to the Khartoum Agreement Monitoring Committee to do everything possible to ensure that the Agreement is respected by both parties concerned (government and armed groups),” JPC stated.

Renewed clashes between two armed groups in Birao, Eastern part of the country last weekend left at least 38 people dead, raising doubts about the possibility of sustaining the peace deal “Political Accord for Peace and Reconciliation” initiated in Khartoum and signed in CAR’s capital, Bangui.

The peace deal was signed with CAR’s 14 armed groups on February 6, 2019.

“The killings, the repeated massacre of the civilian population, such as the case today of the population of Birao and its surroundings shows the non-compliance with the Khartoum Agreement has serious consequences on the population,” reads the statement signed by Fr Frédéric Nakombo, Secretary General JPC.


The Commission also appealed to the African Union, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA) and other institutions to “continue to support the efforts of the Central African Government to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Khartoum Agreement that commit the Government and armed groups under the vigilance of the guarantors.”

The Commission’s statement denounced the divisions and changes in allegiances within the various factions that are leading to the fragmentation of the country and the resurgence of mass violence against the civilian population.

“We ask humanitarian NGOs not to give in to pressure and threats from armed groups,” the statement warned and recognized the sacrifices humanitarian organizations are making “in risky situations to save the lives of Central Africans.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.