Central African Republic factions reach truce in Kenya

AP News
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Posted: Feb 05, 2015 12:46 PM

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Representatives of Central African Republic's two warring factions signed an unconditional cease-fire in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, their mediator said Thursday.

Kenyan mediator Kenneth Marende told reporters that representatives of both the Seleka and anti-Balaka armed groups pledged to stop the recruitment and use of child soldiers, and to stop launching attacks against civilians.

Kenya has taken the lead on Central African Republic peace talks, as encouraged by the African Union. However, it is unclear how legitimate these talks are as there has been no participation of Central African Republic President Catherine Samba-Panza's government.

Previous cease-fires agreed to by various alleged representatives of the two sides have been swiftly broken. Anti-Balaka and Seleka are very diffuse groups, with varying people claiming to be leaders.

Central African Republic was hit by unprecedented sectarian violence about a year ago when the Christian anti-Balaka militia was formed to combat the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels, who had taken control of the country.

Seleka's leader, who was installed as head of state in 2013, stepped down under intense international pressure in early 2014. A transitional government backed by international peacekeepers is currently trying to steer the country to elections.