UN: Central African Republic peace deal may be turning point

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.