Cyril Ramaphosa calls for peace and dialogue as CAR holds elections

Cyril Ramaphosa calls for peace and dialogue as CAR holds elections

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a state of national disaster by announcing a series of extraordinary measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak that has infected 61 people so far.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged the political actors of the Central African Republic (CAR) to “desist from fomenting or escalating tension” and “to engage in dialogue as a means of achieving sustainable peace and stability” as the country goes to the polls. on Sunday.

Ramaphosa issued the statement late Saturday in his capacity as president of the African Union.

He said that the end of the armed conflict was a prerequisite for free, fair and credible elections.

These, in turn, should form the basis of a peace that would benefit the country itself, as well as the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Ramaphosa added.

The president said: The weapons of the insurrection must be silenced so that the democratic will of the people of the Central African Republic can be expressed and become a reality.

Referring to the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, which will come into effect in the new year, Ramaphosa added: “At the dawn of a new year that brings with it the advent of free trade on our continent, we must do everything we can to ensure that no country or region is left behind by a conflict that denies citizens the right to peace, stability and development ”.

He thanked CEEAC for its “thoughtful and progressive stance” on the Central African Republic ahead of that country’s presidential and legislative elections on Sunday.

This follows a meeting of leaders of the 11 Central African nations on Saturday, where they called for a massive turnout in the elections.

“The heads of state considered that it would be a very bad message that Africa would send to the rest of the world if arms were given priority over the ballot box,” Congolese Foreign Minister Jean-Claude Gakosso told AFP.

Ramaphosa said that the electoral process in the Central African Republic and its outcome must involve compliance with the country’s constitution, the decisions of its Constitutional Court and the provisions of the February 2019 Peace Agreement.

The Constitutional Court rejected on Saturday the opposition’s appeals to postpone the vote.

UN peacekeepers and central African national defense and security forces were attacked this week by a rebel coalition, killing three UN peacekeepers in the process.

Russia and Rwanda deployed troops to aid the embattled government.

Former President Francois Bozize, who is under UN sanctions and unable to run, has been accused by incumbent President Faustin Archange Touadera of planning a coup.

Bozize denied it.

South Africa earlier this month donated election supplies to the Central African Republic to assist the National Electoral Authority in that country after a working visit to Ramaphosa by Touadera in March.

The UN Development Program donated additional material and provided political support, according to a statement from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in early December.

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