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CAR Moves to Elect Interim President Amid Violence

  • VOA News

Map of Central African Republic

Map of Central African Republic

The Central African Republic's interim government is forging ahead with plans to fill a leadership void, as fighting continued in parts of the country in Saturday.

Reporter Nick Long, who is in the capital, Bangui, says that ex-Seleka rebels and Christian militias known as anti-balaka clashed in regions including Sibut, a town about 160 kilometers north of the capital, Bangui.

On Twitter Saturday, an international charity said 22 people were killed in an attack on a truck convoy that was carrying Muslim families fleeing violence to the northwestern town of Bouar.

The Save the Children group says at least three children are among those killed in the attack, which took place on Friday.

Despite the ongoing unrest, the country's transitional national council says 24 people have met Saturday application deadline to be candidates for interim president.

Long says some prominent figures are among those seeking the job, including the sons or two formers presidents; Bangui Mayor Catherine Samba Panza; and former ambassador to the U.N. Charles Armel Doubane.

Earlier this week the council announced plans to review candidate submissions on Sunday and elect a new interim president on Monday.

The person elected will replace former interim leader Michel Djotodia, who resigned under intense pressure earlier this month, after failing to stop violence that has left more than 1,000 people dead and nearly one million displaced.

The CAR descended into chaos last March after mostly Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew President Francois Bozize. He was replaced by Djotodia, who became the first Muslim leader of the Christian majority country.

Much of the recent violence has been between ex-Seleka rebels and the anti-balaka militias.

French and African intervention forces have been deployed to the CAR in a bid to help curb the violence.
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