UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous. File picture: Issouf Sanogo

New York -

The UN peacekeeping chief says he hopes a National Reconciliation Forum taking place next week can end hostilities in strife-torn Central African Republic.

Herve Ladsous told reporters after briefing the UN Security Council on Wednesday that he attended a meeting of the International Contact Group on CAR in Addis Ababa on July 7 which decided on a road map to try to end the violence. The first step, he said, is a forum in the Republic of Congo's capital, Brazzaville, starting on July 21.

Thousands have been killed since a political crisis deepened in the country in December and ignited unprecedented violence between Christian and Muslim communities.

“The hope is that it can be decided that hostilities cease and that weapons are laid down,” Ladsous said. - Sapa-AP