BANGUI, 6 April 2021 – One of the most powerful armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) may be turning its back on the fight to topple the government.
The Union for Peace in CAR (UPC) is reportedly withdrawing its commitment to an alliance of armed rebels fighting to overthrow President Faustin-Archange Touadera.
Investigations are ongoing to authenticate whether a handwritten note purportedly authored by the UPC leader, Ali Darassa Mahamat, effectively came from him.
The note allegedly says the rebel group intends to stay true to the letter of the Khartoum Peace Agreement of 2019 signed between 16 rebel groups and the government of CAR.
The 2019 agreement provides for the dissolution of armed groups, the formation of an inclusive government, and the creation of a fund for victims of the armed conflict.
A government spokesperson, Albert Yaloke, on Tuesday said the note cited the suffering endured by citizens as the main reason motivating him to leave the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) rebel alliance.
The six rebel groups that form the alliance pledge allegiance to former CAR President, Francois Bozize, who was disqualified from running for president, last December.
Rebel groups formed the alliance a week before the December 2020 legislative and presidential elections.
Ongoing massacres, lack of access to humanitarian assistance, and the suffering of citizens facing starvation across the country have since increased.
The handwritten note reportedly blames the ongoing war for the atrocities.
CAR President Touadera, recently announced that his government will convene a national dialogue, without providing details of what the agenda of the dialogue would be.