Fred Dufour / AFP / Getty Images

Central African Republic’s warring factions sign cease-fire

Unclear if deal between Muslim and Christian groups will be respected amid conflict that has killed thousands

Representatives of the Muslim and Christian factions battling in the Central African Republic signed a cease-fire agreement Wednesday in the neighboring Republic of Congo.

Thousands have died in sectarian violence between the Seleka rebels and the Christian anti-balaka group in the past 16 months.

The signing, which was shown live on the Republic of Congo's state television, comes after heavy pressure from regional mediators and only one day after the Seleka Muslim rebels failed to show up for the second day of talks.

It is not clear if the cease-fire will be respected by the fighters on the ground in the Central African Republic. Representing Seleka was Gen. Mohamed Moussa Dhaffane, who parted ways with top Seleka leaders last year.

The Seleka rebels seized power in March 2013, overthrowing the president who had been in power for a decade. Their leader stepped down in January, setting off a series of reprisal attacks by the anti-balaka militia.

A civilian transitional government is now tasked with organizing national elections by February, although violence is still raging in the country's provinces. 

The Associated Press 

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