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Central African Republic: Doubts Trail Purported UPC Withdrawal From CPC Rebel Coalition

There are doubts in the Central African Republic over a recent withdrawal of the Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC) from the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).

The leader of the Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC), Ali Darrassa, in a hand-written document made public Monday, April 5, announced the withdrawal of his rebel group from the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).

The UPC leader in the same document announced that he and his rebel movement would reinforce the Khartoum peace accord which was signed on February 5, 2019 between the Central African Republic government and armed groups in the country.

The “main objective of the accord is to promote dialogue between the government and armed groups, with a view to reaching a comprehensive consensual agreement to put a definitive end to the crisis” in the Central African Republic. 

However, the Ali Darrassa declaration has been raising dust both within the rebel groups in the country and the regime in Bangui.

The first reaction to the UPC decision to withdraw from the CPC coalition came from the CPC which contested the authenticity of the document purported to have been signed by UPC leader Ali Darrassa, even after his spokesperson had confirmed the authenticity of the hand-written document.

Some members of the CPC coalition describe the said document as “manipulation by the authorities with a view to forcing other armed rebel groups to rally to the Khartoum accord.”

“This is a non-event” declared Aboubacar Siddick, one of the spokespersons of the Coalition of Patriots for Change, adding that “whatever the case, the rebellion would continue with or without certain entities.” 

Reliable sources who opted for anonymity told HumAngle Wednesday that the Ali Darrassa announcement has caused a serious disquiet within the CPC especially among its fighters.

Sources close to the Bangui regime however said the government has no reason to rush in reacting to the Ali Darrassa declaration, taking into account the history of disclaiming declarations earlier made by their leaders within the rebel groups.

“We do not intend to negotiate with armed groups which have quit the accord. They have to answer for their actions before the law,” government spokesperson Ange-Maxime Kazagui declared on Wednesday.

On the possibility of some armed groups coming back to the Khartoum accord, Ange-Maxime said “to us, the question does not yet arise. There would no longer be discussions with the foreigners leading the armed groups, including Ali Darrassa.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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