22 civil society actors to take part in Central African Republic's peace talks

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The Central African Republic's civil society groups will take part in the peace negotiations over the ongoing conflict between the government and the Seleka coalition of rebels, scheduled to take place in Libreville from Jan. 8 under the guidance of the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC), Xinhua heard on Thursday.

"There will be 22 civil society actors who will represent youths, women, trade unions, the private sector, development NGOs as well as human rights NGOs during the Libreville talks," said Modeste Gonda, the chairman of the Central Africa's Network of NGOs.

This is one of the recommendations that were made on the same day in Bangui by colonel Ben Agourou who is the deputy head of the CEEAC's Peace Consolidation Mission in the Central African Republic, who had been sent from Libreville to prepare for the process to find a solution to the crisis that began on December 10 when the rebels took up arms with an objective of removing President Francois Bozize from power.

While citing the statement by Agourou, Gonda said that although Jan. 8 has been chosen as the date for the beginning of talks in Libreville, the government and the rebels have not yet confirmed if they are comfortable with the date.

The two parties have declared their support for the talks, even though the armed rebels have demanded a transition without Bozize who on his part has promised to form a government of national unity with his adversaries.

Other sources within the diplomatic circles in Bangui said that the peace negotiations in Libreville may start on Jan. 10. Endi

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