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U.S. Vows to Help Stabilize Central African Republic


FILE - African Union MISCA troops from Cameroon patrol in Bangui, Central African Republic, May 29, 2014.

FILE - African Union MISCA troops from Cameroon patrol in Bangui, Central African Republic, May 29, 2014.

The United States says it will do all it can to help stabilize the Central African Republic, working with its international partners and the leaders and the people of the CAR.

Anne Richard, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration told the VOA in an interview, the Central African Republic is at a critical juncture and needs all the help it can get to move towards peace and stability.

“We really want to stop the cycle of violence in the Central African Republic,” said Richard.

“This country is at a critical juncture and we think that United States can help foster a broad-based inclusive dialogue between Muslims and Christians and also including people who have been forced from their homes and either from within the country or forced to flee to neighboring countries.”

THE U.S. resumed operations at its embassy in Bangui this week. The embassy closed in December 2012 when then-president Francois Bozizé was ousted by the Muslim rebel group Séléka, which seized control of Bangui in March 2013.

Richard said the United States is determined to help make this moment of opportunity a success in the CAR.

DEMOCRACY

U.S. Secretary John Kerry this week said the people and leaders of the Central African Republic have made progress in ending the violence and putting their nation on a path toward peace and stability.

"Only a fully inclusive, peaceful, and democratic political transition process can stop the cycle of violence in the Central African Republic," said Kerry.

"That process must include the voices of all Central Africans, especially refugees and internally displaced persons. It must end impunity and give all citizens access to justice while holding those who have committed abuses accountable for their actions."

He added the process must also lead to free and fair elections 'that give all Central Africans a stake in the future of their country'.

PEACEKEEPERS

Also this week the United Nations took over the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic that was previously run by the African Union.

Members of the 6,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force has struggling alongside some 2,000 French troops to restore order.

The former French colony has been paralyzed by violence for nearly two years and is now deeply divided, with its north mostly occupied by mainly Muslim Seleka rebels who seized power nationally last year but were forced to step down in January.

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