The Russian Ambassador to the Central African Republic has declared that there can be no dialogue with the country’s former head of state, Francois Bozize.
Vladimir Tittorenko, who was said to have made the declaration during a meeting with President Faustin Archange Touadera on Monday, Feb.15, was quoted as saying there could also not be negotiations with Ali Darrassa, Al Khatim, or the 3R movement.
“There is no question of negotiating with Francois Bozize, talk less with Ali Darrassa, Al Khatim and the Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation (3R) movement who are not citizens of the Central African Republic,” the Russian diplomat was quoted as having declared.
According to a journalist attached to the presidential press corps who requested anonymity because of the issue’s sensitive nature, Tittorenko said his government supports discussions with the democratic opposition and the nation’s living forces.
Since the Russian diplomat’s declarations were made public, the consensus within the political class in the Central African Republic is that Vladimir Tittorenko has crossed the red line of diplomatic niceties.
“His declarations go against the stand of the heads of state of the Central African Economic Community and those of the Great Lakes Region who support sincere dialogue between Central Africans on the crises through which their country is going right now,” said a political activist in Bangui who elected for anonymity.
“The Russian ambassador is now talking of dialogue with the political class, whereas the head of state has categorically opposed any such dialogue even before the elections. This talk of dialogue is coming up now only because of the pressure from the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).”
The Central African Republic government, through the initiative of the Russian Federation, had engaged in peace talks with the leaders of the foreign rebel groups, and a political accord for peace and reconciliation had been signed two years ago between the Central African Republic government and fourteen armed groups.
The accord was negatively perceived by the political class, who denounced it as an electoral political deal.
For the past two years, the rebel leaders have become the government’s privileged partners, according to Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada.
“Who is the Russian Ambassador to make such a declaration? The declaration coming after his meeting with the head of state makes it seem as if he has become an adviser or spokesperson to President Touadera, just as his compatriot Valery Zakharov. They are speaking the same language. Could our president have become their captive?” asked a political analyst in Bangui.