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CAR President Resigns



Regional leaders say the Central African Republic's president and prime minister have resigned after months of chaos and deadly sectarian violence.

The resignation of President Michel Djotodia and Prime Minister Nicolas Tiengaye was announced Friday at the end of two days of meetings in Chad by leaders of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).

Mr. Djotodia was in Chad for the summit, but he not spoken about his future. ECCAS leaders said talks will be held in Bangui, the CAR capital, to decide the country's new leadership.

Government officials in Bangui had rejected reports that Mr. Djotodia would step down at the summit. In the CAR capital, reporter Nick Long said people cheered as they heard news of the president's resignation.

Amnesty International immediately called for an increase in the number of peacekeepers in the CAR. The human-rights group warned the leadership change could trigger fresh clashes against civilians by Christian and Muslim militias.



French and African peacekeepers in the CAR have been largely unable to stop the violence, which has left more than 1,000 people dead and displaced more than 900,000 others. An estimated 100,000 people are now camped out around the Bangui airport.

Mr. Djotodia came to power last March, after mostly Muslim Seleka rebels toppled former President Francois Bozize last March. Abuses by the former rebels continued, however, and subsequent counterattacks by Christian militia groups led to a cycle of escalating violence that drove people from their homes.

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