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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid