CAR unity government formed

Feb. 6, 2013 at 9:56 AM

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- A unity government formed in the embattled Central African Republic is a step toward peace, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

CAR political groups announced they formed a unity government following a cease-fire brokered with members of the Seleka rebel coalition.

Ban, in a statement issued through his spokesman's office, called on all parties to the conflict to respect the terms of the agreements, brokered last month.

"This is an important step toward the consolidation of the peace-building process," the statement read.

Weak state authority, ethnic fighting and a long history of political turmoil have left CAR with a scarred legacy. The Seleka rebel campaign was meant to pressure President Francois Bozize to step aside.

The U.N. Security Council last month extended the mandate for a peacekeeping office in CAR for one year while calling on both parties to the conflict to consolidate peace in the country. The Jan. 11 cease-fire included power-sharing agreements between the rebel faction and the Bozize administration.

CAR is one of the poorest nations in the world.

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