Cease-fire deal reached in CAR

Jan. 12, 2013 at 7:56 PM
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BANGUI, Central African Republic, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Rebel fighters in the Central African Republic have agreed to a cease-fire following talks with government officials in Gabon, both sides said.

Rebel leaders and CAR President Francois Bozize signed a formal cease-fire Friday in Gabon's capital Libreville after three days of talks mediated by neighboring countries, the BBC reported. The two sides also agreed to form a unity government.

The rebels, under the Seleka alliance, gained control of northern and eastern CAR in about four weeks of fighting, which started on Dec. 10. Seleka accused the government of breaking previous peace deals.

Margaret Vogt, the top United Nations official for the Central African Republic, said the cease-fire would take effect within 72 hours.

Under the agreement, Bozize will stay in power until the end of his term in 2016, while a new prime minister will be appointed from the opposition.

The unity government, which is meant to replace the country's national assembly, will be established by Bozize and members of the opposition. It will be tasked with restoring peace and security to CAR and undertaking reforms of the economic and social sectors, among other duties.

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