The African Union on Monday expressed optimism the ongoing peace process in the Central Africa Republic (CAR) will lead to sustainable peace.

“We’re relatively confident the CAR peace process is going well and the semblance of the state is back in most regions in the appointment of governors and the deployment of the army to most part of the country,” Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security said at the sidelines of the 33rd ordinary session of the assembly of the heads of state and government of the AU being held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Chergui said there are still some remaining challenges in the central African country, including sporadic inter-communal violence.

But, he said the commitment from CAR people and government as well as international partners to the peace process makes him optimistic about the future of the country.

In the coming weeks, our focus will be on what partners can deliver in terms of economical projects. The people of CAR want to see the gains of the peace agreement as we prepare for elections at the end of this year.”

The Central Africa Republic is slated to hold Presidential election in Dec.2020, which the AU and international partners hope will give sustainable peace to the long-suffering country.

“One of challenges we have is to cover the full financial cost of the election. We’ve already received some contributions and we continue to work with United Nations, European Union and other partners to make sure we have the necessary financing for this operation.”

“We want to make this election to be free, fair, inclusive and to signal that this country has come to normal,” said Chergui.

Since 2013, the CAR has been suffering from a religious and ethnic conflict after the Muslim-majority Seleka armed opposition seized power, which led to reprisal operations by the Anti-Balaka militia group said to be composed primarily of Christians.

The UN has deployed a peacekeeping mission the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), helping stabilize the central African country. Enditem

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