Let us therefore make it clear, in the spirit of the SRSG`s request for honesty, that the peace agreement is on fragile ground. The actors may still be involved in the technical mechanisms of the agreement, but they have proved insufficient to get the signatory parties to actually implement the commitments they made in Khartoum a year ago. In addition to the growing threat of sanctioning armed signatories who continue to flagrantly violate the terms of the agreement, the pressure on the government and the packaging of certain support packages (i.e. the extension of state authority and the extension of the army) should also be examined. By strengthening influence and highlighting the consequences to come, while ensuring that guarantors (and influential bilateral actors such as Russia, France and the United States) actively advocate for peace, it may be enough to change some of the recent destabilizing behaviour and lack of good faith. For its part, Minusca continues to use its good offices to push the parties to respect their peace agreements, he said. It cooperates with the government, guarantors and other intermediaries and partners to provide the parties with the political and logistical support necessary for the successful agreement. More broadly, MINUSCA supports all the structures that are considering the agreement, he said, referring to the organization of an awareness campaign informing local actors of the agreement and support for local peace and reconciliation committees. Ultimately, the success of the agreement depends on the willingness of the parties to end the violence, he said, and to start a dialogue on dispute resolution in accordance with the agreement. He stressed that armed groups must respect the security measures they committed to on 6 February and welcomed the removal of illegal barriers by the Popular Renaissance Front as an encouraging sign. March 2019 Armed groups oppose a planned new government. The AU is convening new talks in Addis Ababa, leading to a new government with additional slots for armed group leaders.
Overall, while the agreement can be usefully used to mobilize state action and international support, its political underpinnings are weak. It is understandable that the mediators and international actors who supported the talks were relieved that armed groups that a few years ago demanded amnesty and threatened to march on Bangui showed up in Khartoum. But in reality, the parties gave few substantial reasons, except for vague commitments to end the violence, to diverge their perception of the agreement and to perpetuate violence, because the armed groups did not sign in good faith. Perhaps most importantly, the discussions have resulted in the AU mediating between the government and fourteen groups, often with different interests. In fact, at least two anti-balaka groups are so close to government officials that negotiations between them and Bangui are largely meaningless. [fn] Interview of the Crisis Group, senior diplomat, Bangui, January 2019.Hide Footnote Most of the fighting on the ground is now taking place among armed groups – not between them and the national security forces.