Central African Delegation in Chad for Negotiations on Rebel Leader Mahamat al-Khatim’s Return

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A Central African delegation concludes its week-long stay in the Chadian capital, Ndjamena, departing this Saturday. Led by Minister Jean Willibiro Sako, responsible for the Demobilization, Disarmament, Reintegration, and Repatriation (DDRR) process, the delegation engaged in talks with Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Déby on Wednesday. The primary objective was to negotiate the terms of the return of rebel leader Mahamat al-Khatim within the framework of the Khartoum Peace Agreement.

The envoys representing Faustin-Archange Touadera sought Chad’s mediation in the ongoing negotiations with rebel leaders whom Bangui is endeavoring to reintegrate as part of the 2019 peace accord.

One such leader, Mahamat Al-Khatim, parted ways with the CPC coalition a month ago. The Central African delegation, along with Chadian Minister of Public Security Mahamat Charfadine Margui, held discussions with him on Thursday.

The leader of the Patriotic Movement for the Central African Republic is seeking amnesty for a life sentence handed down to him last September. According to a member of his delegation, the Central African side has assured him that a “solution is in sight.” Subsequently, Mahamat al-Khatim could return to the Central African Republic, his followers could join the demobilization program, and the MPC could be dissolved.

The movement claims over 5,000 fighters in the Birao and Amdafock regions, near Sudan, although some sources argue that this figure is significantly inflated. Nonetheless, Mahamat al-Khatim is considered a valuable asset for Bangui due to his ability to navigate transborder connections between Chad and the Central African Republic.

Soukaina Sghir

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