News / Africa

CAR's Djotodia to Review Minerals Deals

Michel Djotodia, center, rebel leader who declared himself president, arrives for meetings with government armed forces, Bangui, Central African Republic, March 28, 2013.
Michel Djotodia, center, rebel leader who declared himself president, arrives for meetings with government armed forces, Bangui, Central African Republic, March 28, 2013.
Reuters
Central African Republic's new President Michel Djotodia, who seized power last week, said on Friday he would review resource deals signed by the previous government and promised to step down at elections in 2016.

Djotodia, a former civil servant turned rebel leader, said he would seek aid from former colonial power France and the United States to retrain the ill-disciplined army, which was easily overrun by fighters from his Seleka rebel coalition.

Paris and Washington have called for the rebels to respect a power-sharing deal signed in the Gabonese capital Libreville in January which mapped out a transition to elections in 2016 at which then-President Francois Bozize was forbidden from running.

"We are going to act according to the spirit of the Libreville agreements," Djotodia told his first news conference since seizing power. "Anyone currently in power supporting our takeover will not contest the next presidential elections, myself included."

The rebel takeover has been strongly condemned internationally. The African Union suspended Central African Republic's membership and imposed sanctions on Seleka leaders, including Djotodia.

In a bid to tap the country's under-exploited mineral wealthy, Bozize had awarded China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) rights to explore for oil at Boromata, in the country's northeast near the border with Chad.

South Africa's DIG oil is also prospecting in the southeast of the country, near the town of Carnot.

"I will ask the relevant ministers to see whether things were done badly, to try to sort them out," Djotodia said, when asked about resource licenses awarded to Chinese and South African firms by Bozize.

Bozize, who fled to Cameroon immediately after the coup, has requested asylum in the West African nation of Benin, Foreign Minister Nassirou Bako said.

"He has not yet arrived in Cotonou and everything indicates he is still in Cameroon," Nako said late on Thursday.

Change of direction

Although Central African Republic has deposits of gold, diamonds, oil and uranium, these remain largely untapped, and the coup-prone nation is one of the poorest on earth.
 
"We will rely on the European Union to help us develop this country," Djotodia said, adding that about 80 percent of the country's foreign aid has come from the bloc. "When we have been sick, the European Union was at our bedside. It will not abandon us now."
 
Bozize, who fled to Cameroon, has requested asylum in the West African nation of Benin, a senior official with Benin's foreign ministry official said this week.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid