Central African Republic Rebels Allow Return of State Officials

(Bloomberg) -- An armed group in the Central African Republic said it will allow some state officials to return to the territory it controls in the northeast, signaling its willingness to join the disarmament process in the war-torn nation.

The mainly Muslim group, known by its acronym FPRC, will give access to military prefects so that “the suffering” of the population in the Vakaga prefecture can be alleviated as state authority is gradually restored, according to a statement signed by its leader, Noureddine Adam. The prefects can be accompanied by two bodyguards each.

The FPRC, which is active near Chad and Sudan after having been pushed out from the main diamond-mining area last year, is ready to join the disarmament program, the statement said.

The Central African Republic’s countryside is dominated by as many as 20 armed groups since the army collapsed in the wake of a 2013 coup. While the government’s authority barely extends beyond the capital, Bangui, a disarmament program was launched last year with help of the United Nations, which has a 13,750-member force in the country.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.