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Central African Republic dialogue concluded with peace accords
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The inclusive political dialogue in the Central African Republic has concluded with peace accords to be followed by commissions, according to Cameroon's state radio.

The Dec. 8-20 dialogue held in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, ended with important accords on the formation of a broad-based government, the holding of a free and transparent presidential election, a commission to supervise the implementation of the deal and a commission to verify reconciliation, the radio said on Sunday.

Consultations on the formation of a new government begin on Tuesday, the radio announced.

Participants of the dialogue have submitted recommendations to a key committee composed of former President Ange Félix Patassé, ex-military ruler Andre Kolingba and current President Francois Bozize, the radio said.

Patasse was ousted in 2003 in a military coup by Bozize, who won the presidential election two year later.

The radio quoted Patasse as recognizing for the first time the legitimacy of Bozize as having a "mission not only to control the effective application of the recommendations, but also a role of appeasement of tensions" in dealing with the interpretation of those recommendations.

Under the peace accords, the country will hold municipal and legislative elections in 2009 before a presidential vote in 2010.

The dialogue included the representatives of the government, political opposition, rebel groups, civil society and international mediators.

The accords are the culmination of years of peace efforts. Three conferences have been hosted by Gabon in search for an end to instability in the Central African Republic, with the presence of officials from the United Nations, the European Union, the MICOPAX (the peacekeeping mission for Central African Republic) and the International Organization of Francophonie.

The efforts led to a "comprehensive peace agreement" signed between the government and rebel groups on June 21.

Under the agreement, the government promulgated amnesty to all opponents and rebels, making it possible for multi-party talks in Bangui.

The Central African Republic won independence from France in 1960. The landlocked country of 4 million population has been plagued by a series of coups and revolts, and ranked as one of the poorest in the world despite its rich reserves of timber, gold, diamond and uranium.

(Xinhua News Agency December 22, 2008)

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