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January 21 2014 | ROME, ITALY

Central Africa: "We are laying the foundations for living together"

The process of reconciliation continues with a delegation from the African country in Rome

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The preparation of the legislative elections scheduled for February 2015, the launching of a national Commission for" truth and reconciliation" and the coordination of the humanitarian aid now flowing into the country, so that it can reach especially the provinces most affected by the unrest and the  internal conflicts in recent months, are the tasks to be faced by newly elected President of the Central African Republic Catherine Samba-Panza, elected on Monday by the National Council of Transition in Bangui. This was stated by Minister of Communications Adrien Pousson, present in Rome with a delegation of authorities from the government and Central African civil society, engaged in discussions with the Community of Sant'Egidio, which has followed for months the process of reconciliation and support for the democratic transition in the country, which resulted in the signing, last 7 November, of the "Republican Pact", already defined by the UN Security Council as a "credible framework to promote an inclusive national dialogue between all political parties, social and religious, of the country".

The press conference, with the presence of members of the diplomatic corps and UN officials, was held in the headquarters of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Trastevere. In the coming days, a delegation of the Community will travel to Bangui to meet the newly elected President and to continue in situ the work of reconciliation already begun. Minister Pousson illustrated the dramatic situation in the Central African Republic, which is struggling with a million internally displaced people (one fifth of the population), a thousand dead and hundreds injured in the capital alone in the conflicts of the past few days, the administrative structures paralysed, the nightmare of famine.

"The election of President Catherine Samba-Panza, recognised by the major warring factions in the country, is a strong signal of the common desire for reconciliation. The process in place was started through the efforts and the advice by the Community of Sant'Egidio, must be supported by the European Union and the international community, to whom we are grateful for the support they are giving to our people. We have laid the foundations for learning to live together".

The Delegation of the Central African Republic present in Rome released the text of a statement of support for the newly elected president and of shared commitment to the implementation of the Republican Pact.

In an interview with a correspondent of our website, Minister Adrien Poussou said: "I ​​want to send my best wishes and my sincerest congratulations to the new President of the Central African Republic and, at the same time, to emphasize the political maturity of the National Council for having chosen a woman as President.

We are at Sant'Egidio and I thank this Community from the bottom of my heart because it has been committed to peace in Central Africa for many years showing us real loyalty and friendship and giving itself for implementing the Republican Pact signed right here at Sant'Egidio.

We are committed, today and in the future, to achieving peace in our country and for all, for the different parties, to achieving reconciliation".


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