World News

    CAR's President, Prime Minister Are Out



    The Central African Republic's president and prime minister have resigned under pressure from regional leaders, after months of deadly sectarian violence.

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

    ECCAS leaders said talks will be held in Bangui, the CAR capital, to decide the country's new leadership.

    There has been no comment from Mr. Djotodia, who was in Chad's capital, N'djamena, for the summit.

    Reporter Nick Long is in Bangui. He tells VOA that people were initially elated to hear word of Mr. Djotodia's resignation.



    "Jubilant is the word, I think," Long said. "There were whoops of joy and shouting and cheering and car horns blaring and shots in the air - celebratory shots in the air, I should say - as soon as the news emerged."



    He later reported hearing the sound of "heavy gunfire" in the city, but said the source of the shooting was unclear.

    Amnesty International has called for an increase in the number of peacekeepers in the CAR. The human-rights group warned the president's resignation could trigger attacks by Christian militias against Muslim civilians, and retaliatory attacks by the former Seleka rebels.



    French and African peacekeepers in the CAR have been largely unable to stop the recent 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.

    In Bangui, reporter Long said the process of replacing Mr. Djotodia with another interim leader appears to be straightforward.



    "I spoke to civil society people about this and they suggested it is not too complicated," he said. "There is an interim parliament, a transitional national council which selected Mr. Djotodia, and which could easily select an alternative - another interim president - until elections are held."



    In a VOA interview, analyst Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council Africa Center, said Mr. Djotodia's support base had grown small.



    "You had a head of state who certainly was not the choice of the majority of the citizens of the country, who lived in the southern part of the country and are predominately Christian," Pham said. "He had fallen out with the largely Muslim minority from the Seleka which had brought him to power. So, here is a man with no constituency. It is almost inevitable that he has to go to make room for some transition."



    The International Organization for Migration says it will begin airlifting stranded foreign nationals out of the CAR on Saturday, following appeals from neighboring countries. The group says the initial flights will be to repatriate about 800 Chadians who are in Bangui.

    Mr. Djotodia came to power last March, after the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels toppled overthrew president Francois Bozize. Abuses by the former rebels continued, however, and subsequent counterattacks by Christian militia groups led to a cycle of escalating violence.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora