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CAR Coup Leader Strengthens Grip on Power

The leader of last month's coup in the Central African Republic (CAR) says he will serve as both president and defense minister.

Michel Djotodia, whose rebel forces overthrew longtime President Francois Bozize, made the announcement in a decree read on state radio late Sunday.

Members of Djotodia's Seleka rebel coalition will hold a number of other ministries. Nicolas Tiangaye -- an opposition leader who joined the previous government as part of a power-sharing deal -- remains as prime minister.

The Central African Republic has experienced a series of coups since gaining independence from France in 1960. Decades of conflict and mismanagement have left the country's people poor, despite the fact it has major deposits of gold and diamonds.

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