President Faustin Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic has announced that the long-awaited national dialogue for reconciliation between the government and unarmed opposition groups will be held from Monday March 21 to Sunday March 27, in Bangui the national capital.
The President made the announcement on Tuesday, March 15.
“The Republican Dialogue is convened for Monday 21 to Sunday 27 March, 2022 in Bangui,” a presidential decree announced.
The dialogue was expected to have been held six months after the Dec. 27, 2020 presidential election which was won by President Touadera but was suspended following an attempt by opposition groups under the auspices of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) to overthrow his government in Jan. 2021.
The Touadera regime was only saved through the intervention of hundreds of Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group.
However, some voices within the opposition groups expected to take part in the dialogue have been expressing dissatisfaction with the timing of the meeting.
A good number of opposition leaders have said they had no idea of the impending decision to hold the dialogue this month.
“We wanted it to be held in the month of April, which would give enough time for participants to best organise,”said Martin Ziguele, an opposition MP.
“It is precipitating. We have important themes to be handled and I have not received any invitation yet and up until this morning, they were still compiling the list of participants,” said Anicet-Georges Dologuele, a former Prime Minister and founder of the COD-2020, the principal opposition platform.
“Seven days is a relatively short period for a meeting in a National Assembly of more than 450 participants drawn from the vital forces of the nation, the opposition and civil society, which will discuss peace and security,” declared Albert Yaloke Mokpeme, a spokesperson of the presidency.
“The government has not clearly said what the aim of the republican dialogue is all about besides vague promises that it would include the opposition and civil society.”
The government has promised that it would include the opposition and civil society in the management of state affairs in a country largely dominated in the National Assembly, by the United Hearts Movement (UHM) party of Faustin Archange Touadera and its allied or satellite parties.
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