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UN Central African Republic peace deal may be turning point

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. envoy for Central African Republic says the peace agreement signed this month by the government and 14 rebel groups “could be a turning point” in the conflict-torn country despite persistent dangers.

Parfait Onanga-Anyanga told the Security Council Thursday that while there is reason “to rejoice” at the first agreement reached in face-to-face negotiations “we must be vigilant because the situation remains grave.”

He said: “The true test will be the comprehensive, implementation in good faith of the agreement.”

Onanga-Anyanga was making his last briefing before stepping down, and he urged all parties “to scrupulously honor all their commitments” and engage in dialogue — not violence.

The major conflict in Central African Republic began in 2013, and armed groups currently control around 80 percent of the impoverished country.