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CAR Leader Calls for Calm

  • VOA News

Central African transitional parliament chief (CNT) Alexandre-Ferdinand Nguendet, acting as Central African Republic's interim president, makes a statement to the nation in Bangui, Jan. 11, 2014.

Central African transitional parliament chief (CNT) Alexandre-Ferdinand Nguendet, acting as Central African Republic's interim president, makes a statement to the nation in Bangui, Jan. 11, 2014.

The transitional leader of the Central African Republic has called for calm and an end to the deadly violence that has gripped the country.

Alexandre Ferdinand Nguendet on Sunday asked each Central African to "remain calm" and "trust" the measures his administration is launching to establish peaceful and safe conditions.

The call for calm comes a day after widespread looting and violence were reported in the capital, Banqui, following the forced resignation of CAR's president, Michel Djotodia, who is in Benin where officials say he is seeking exile.

Djotodia arrived in Cotonou Saturday, one day after an African regional bloc announced his resignation and the departure of Prime Minister Nicolas Tiengaye.

The two interim government leaders had been unable to rein in spiraling violence in the CAR that has left more than 1,000 people dead and nearly 1 million displaced from their homes.

The unrest began in March when mostly Muslim Seleka forces overthrew President Francois Bozize.

Much of the fighting since has been between ex-Seleka rebels and Christian militia groups known as anti-balaka.

The unrest has continued despite the presence of several thousand French and African soldiers.

The International Organization for Migration is flying stranded foreign nationals out of Bangui following appeals from neighboring African countries.

The first three IOM charter flights in the coming days will repatriate about 800 Chadians from the war-torn Bangui to Chad's capital, N'Djamena.

The 800 are part of a group of 2,500 Chadians sheltering in a transit camp adjacent to Bangui airport, living in miserable conditions at the overcrowded and unsanitary site.

An estimated 100,000 people are now camped out around the Bangui airport. Thousands of other civilians have sought refuge at other sites across the CAR.
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