Sudan denies French objection to Sudanese peace efforts in Central African Republic


KHARTOUM, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) — The Sudanese government on Monday denied that France opposed Sudan’s role in achieving peace in Central African Republic (CAR), official SUNA news agency reported.

“The rumors that France is opposed to Sudan’s role in bringing peace to the CAR is untrue. France has told us through more than one team that it is not opposed to any Sudanese effort on the CAR,” Sudan’s Foreign Minister Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed was quoted as saying.

Sudan is working within the framework of the African initiative regarding its efforts for the peace in the CAR, he noted.

A day earlier, Russia expressed dismay over a French draft resolution at the UN Security Council targeting the Sudanese-Russian mediation to bring peace in the CAR.

On Thursday, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir accused unnamed circles of crippling his country’s efforts to achieve peace in neighboring CAR.

In August, Khartoum hosted a session of talks between the CAR’s Seleka armed opposition and the Anti-Balaka militia group under a Russian initiative and the patronage of al-Bashir.

The talks concluded with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, which requires the establishment of a joint body for peace aiming at renouncing violence and extremism, cessation of hostilities and allowing free movement of citizens and trade with neighboring countries.

A new round of peace talks between the CAR’s conflicting parties was set to be held in Khartoum by mid November, but Khartoum announced on Sunday its postponement upon the request of the African Union (AU) as the talks would coincide with the AU Extraordinary Summit on the Institutional Reform in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia.

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.