CAR peace forum delayed for start of May

Central African Republic’s transitional government has postponed a peace forum involving factions in a two-year-old conflict that has killed thousands, a statement from parliament said, as the country prepares for elections by the end of the year.
Congo Republic President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has served as a mediator in the crisis, could not attend next week and so the forum would be held from May 4 to May 11, it said.
CAR descended into chaos in March 2013 when predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power. That sparked reprisals by “anti-balaka” Christian militia, which drove out tens of thousands of Muslims from the south in a de facto partition.
Some 680 representatives from armed groups, political parties, civil society and the religious communities were due to meet next Monday in a nationwide forum.
CAR said that delaying the forum would also allow the government to raise additional financing for the talks.
Though the violence has lessened, sporadic killings occur, fuelled by criminality, and deep divisions between Muslims and Christians persist.

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