C. African president urges disarming armed groups

United Nations (United States) (AFP) –


The Central African Republic's President Faustin-Archange Touadera told the United Nations on Monday he wants to "accelerate" the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of members of armed groups.

"I have instructed my government to work toward reducing the harm and threat of armed groups in the Central African Republic, by accelerating the implementation of the disarmament, reintegration and repatriation program," he said at a meeting concerning the peace process in his country.

Such an operation would require "necessary reforms of the security sector for the reconstitution of national defense forces and interior security forces," Touadera added.

His comments come as the FPRC -- the Popular Front for the Rebirth of Central Africa, one of the country's main armed groups -- threatened to march on Bangui.

The group said it wanted to act following a UN peacekeeper operation against militia in the volatile PK5 Muslim enclave of the capital.

Touadera urged "dialogue" as the preferred approach to combat the violence that has ravaged his country since 2013.

He stressed that "consolidation of peace... can only be achieved through the restoration of security throughout the territory, the fight against impunity, the restoration of state authority throughout the territory."

Morocco's UN envoy Omar Hilale, who initiated Monday's meeting, assured the Central African Republic of the UN's "support" and said he would soon travel to Bangui.

The country's authorities control only a small part of the national territory, with a number of armed groups fighting over control of diamonds, gold and livestock in one of the world's poorest countries.