The government of the Central African Republic (CAR) signed an "immediate ceasefire" deal with 13 rebel groups at a meeting in Rome on Monday, June 19. Under the accord, rebel groups will be given political representation in the country's parliament in exchange for ending violent attacks and blockades. Rebel soldiers will also be integrated into CAR's armed forces. The ceasefire was mediated by the Roman Catholic Sant Egidio peace group.
Despite this development, tensions remains high throughout the country, and the possibility of further violence cannot be ruled out.
A religious conflict has ravaged the country since December 2013; Bangui especially has been gripped by deadly clashes between the Christian civilian militia Anti-Balaka and the Muslim FPRC (ex-Seleka coalition). The conflict has led to hundreds of deaths, created almost 1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and pushed more than 500,000 to seek refuge in the neighboring countries of Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Chad.
Many Western governments advise against travel to the country due to these and other security concerns. Travel should only be considered with proper security protocols in place.
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