Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Tuesday, 30 September 2008 11:58 UK

CAR adopts amnesty law for peace

A rebel fighter in the CAR
The amnesty is reported to cover violence from 15 March 2003

The Central African Republic's parliament has passed an amnesty aimed to allow the conclusion of peace talks between government forces and rebels.

The law covers both rebels and government officials in CAR.

One rebel leader, whose group had earlier rejected the amnesty, was quoted as saying he would have to study the detail of the text.

Meanwhile, another rebel group was reported to have seized control of a village in the north near Sudan.

About 20 armed men from the Forces for the Unification of the Central African Republic (Firca) took over Am Dafok, east of Birao, a police official told AFP news agency.

The Firca splintered from the Union of Democratic Forces for the Rally (UFDR), which signed a peace deal with President Francois Bozize in April 2007.

The APA news agency said the amnesty covered violence from 15 March 2003.

Acts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes would be excluded, it said.

The law calls for an immediate ceasefire and for armed groups to hand in their weapons.

Jean-Jacques Demafouth, the exiled leader of the Popular Army for the Restoration of Democracy (APRD), told AFP he wanted "to see the text in detail before making a decision about it".

The APRD pulled out of peace talks at the beginning of August because of the draft amnesty and other grievances.

The government resumed talks with rebels in Gabon earlier this month.

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14 Mar 08 |  Africa
In pictures: CAR's forgotten crisis
27 Aug 07 |  In Pictures
Country profile: Central African Republic
04 Jun 08 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Central African Republic
04 Jun 08 |  Country profiles

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