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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 February 2007, 05:22 GMT
CAR signs peace deal with rebels

The government of the Central African Republic has signed a peace deal with one of the country's main rebel groups.

The accord - brokered in Libya - calls for an immediate ceasefire and for the Democratic Front and also another main rebel group to lay down their arms.

In return, the rebels will be absorbed into the national army and given the right to participate in government.

The leader of the Central African Republic's other rebel group is expected to sign the agreement later.

The country has suffered from mounting lawlessness in recent years, only held at bay with the help of French troops.

'Significant step'

Central African Republic Justice Minister Paul Otto and the leader of the opposition Democratic Front, Abdoulaye Miskine, signed the peace accord in the Libyan town of Sert.

Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi and some diplomats were also present.

The opposition leader of the other main rebel movement, Abakar Sabon, is expected to sign this peace accord from his prison cell in the west African country of Benin, where he is currently being held, the BBC's Rana Jawad in Sert says.

According to Libyan officials, Abakar Sabon will be released from jail and returned to his home country upon signing the deal.

This latest peace deal is seen as a significant step for the Central African Republic's national reconciliation process, but it remains to be seen whether it will be implemented on the ground, our correspondent says.

CAR rebels seize town near Chad
30 Oct 06 |  Africa
Country profile: Central African Republic
12 Dec 06 |  Country profiles

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