Great Lakes bloc calls for CAR ceasefire, organises another summit

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Countries of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) will hold another summit in 10 days to discuss the situation in the Central African Republic. A summit held on Friday reaffirmed the regional bloc’s support for the validity of elections held on 27 December.

Following a meeting of heads of state in Luanda, Angola the ICGLR said it “will not allow actors who oppose the results to take power by force”, calling on all parties to engage with talks to help solve crisis in the country.

“Heads of state and the government call upon rebel forces to observe a unilateral and immediate ceasefire, to pull back from their positions encircling Bangui and return to their initial positions,” said a statement read by Angola’s Foreign Minister Antonio Tete, according to RFI.

The ICGLR urged rebels to clear the Douala-Bangui road to allow the free movement of people and goods.

The statement also said the ICGLR and Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) will take the necessary steps with the UN Security Council to lift the arms embargo on CAR.

Fighting broke out in the CAR before the country’s December elections, with rebel groups pushing to take the capital Bangui.

The UN warned this week that some 200,000 people have fled fighting, seeking refuge in Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo.