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Vol 56 No 11

Published 29th May 2015

Central African Republic

Reconciliation for beginners

As the Bangui Forum proceeded, France’s need to bow out became clearer, although it may mean turning a blind eye to corruption

All parties agreed that the just-concluded Bangui Forum for National Reconciliation was essential if the country is to have a future. Yet the gathering was supposed to start last October but convened only on 5 May. The delay says much about the shaky foundation of current peace and reconstruction efforts. Both local and international actors are to blame. After the Brazzaville Agreement of July 2014, Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza promised to move fast but got bogged down in controversy over her cabinet choices, especially Mahamat Kamoun as Prime Minister. She also had to defend herself against claims that her government had stolen US$1 million, part of an Angolan cash grant. Only the intervention of the diplomat in charge of Africa policy at the French Presidency, Hélène le Gal, saved her from a humiliating confrontation with the Interim Parliament, the Conseil national de transition (CNT).

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