I welcome the announcement of a cease-fire agreement for the Central African Republic between ex-Seleka, anti-Balaka, and other armed groups that was signed July 23 in Brazzaville in the presence of the Transitional Government of the Central African Republic, political parties, civil society groups, and religious leaders.
The United States is grateful for the leadership of the ECCAS mediator, President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo, as well for the vital supporting efforts of AU and UN mediators as well as the International Contact Group on CAR -- all of whom have worked tirelessly toward this goal.
For far too long, the violent upheaval in CAR has caused unimaginable suffering for millions of innocent men, women and children. This cease-fire is a much-needed and encouraging first step in what remains our shared goal: restoring peace, security and economic stability to the people of CAR.
We call on all armed actors to respect the terms of the agreement and work with local and national authorities to achieve a meaningful and durable peace. To that end we support the efforts of President Samba Panza and the CAR Transitional Government, with help from the UN, AU, ECCAS and other members of the International Contact Group for CAR, to seize the opportunity created by this cease-fire and initiate a political process inside CAR that engages all stakeholders, provides accountability for serious human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, and promotes a fully inclusive national reconciliation process.
The United States remains committed to the safety and security of the people of CAR through our support of humanitarian relief efforts, the African Union peacekeepers and French and EU forces currently working to protect civilians in the country, and the deployment of a UN Peacekeeping Force in September.