News / Africa

    Central African Republic's Interim President Resigns

    FILE - Central African Republic's President Michel Djotodia attends a ceremony marking the beginning of construction on a bridge destroyed during floods in Bangui on Dec. 3, 2013.
    FILE - Central African Republic's President Michel Djotodia attends a ceremony marking the beginning of construction on a bridge destroyed during floods in Bangui on Dec. 3, 2013.
    Nick Long
    The International Organization for Migration is evacuating stranded foreign nationals Saturday from the Central African Republic, following appeals from neighboring African countries.

    The airlift comes after the resignations of President Michel Djotodia and Prime Minister Nicolas Tiengaye 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.  The announcement follows months of deadly sectarian violence.

    The first three IOM charter flights in the coming days will repatriate about 800 Chadians from war-torn Bangui to Chad's capital, N'Djamena. The 800 are part of a group of 2,500 Chadians sheltering in a transit camp adjacent to Bangui airport, living in miserable conditions at the overcrowded and unsanitary site.

    News of the president's resignation was greeted by joyous street celebrations in Bangui. "Djotodia's resigned!' shouted one girl.  Cheers, blaring car horn and gun shots fired in the air could be heard throughout the capital.

    The president's resignation came after an extraordinary call Thursday by the summit for the entire transitional parliament in Bangui to board a plane and fly to N'Djamena.  
    When they arrived they were summoned to intensive talks, which carried on until nearly 4 a.m. Friday.  It is understood the talks were aimed at persuading the parliament, which includes Djotodia supporters as well as opponents, to agree that he should step aside.  

    Michel Djotodia

    • Seized power from Francois Bozize in March 2013
    • First Muslim leader of Christian majority Central African Republic
    • Involved in several rebel groups, including Seleka
    • Studied in the Soviet Union in the 1970s
    • Served as diplomat in Sudan
    • Born in 1949 in northeastern Vakaga region

    A former minister in a previous CAR government, Gaston Mandata, said in an interview that he agreed with the resignation of the interim president.

    Djotodia, as well as the Prime Minister Nicholas Tiangaye have shown their limitations when it comes to managing the transition, Mandata said, adding that the two now former leaders have shown serious incompetence and a lack of capacity to handle the crisis and the transition successfully.

    The CAR state has virtually collapsed since Djotodia came to power in March 2013 on the back of a rebellion by the Seleka alliance, whose fighters are accused by Human Rights Watch of many atrocities.

    A cycle of sectarian violence between Muslim and Christian militias peaked in December when at least 750 people were killed in Bangui, and others died outside the capital.

    Mandata blames Djotodia for much of the chaos, saying Seleka rebels have looted, raped ans stolen since they took over Bangui in Decemeber 2012.  And he said the Seleka leader, Djotodia, allowed them to do it.

    But  he repeatedly denied responsibility for Seleka abuses and blamed his predecessor, Francois Bozize, for the instability.

    Some observers have suggested that Seleka fighters were taking revenge for atrocities committed by previous governments, particularly in the northeast of the country.
     
    Central African Republic's transitional parliament is likely to choose another interim president to serve through national elections, which could possibly be held later this year.

    A Catholic priest, Abbe Albert Tungumale-Baba, says his church in Bangui is currently sheltering hundreds of people who have fled violence. He said Central Africans need to be wary of influence from N'djamena, the Chadian capital.

    Central Africans believe that Chad and the Chadian president, Idriss Deby, have been involved in the operations that led to the current situation, the priest said.  He believes regional leaders must meet and discuss and seek solutions, but there also is a need for truthful, sincere discussions.

    Chadian President Idriss Deby told the summit that the CAR had been plunged into the tragedy of war by its own children.

    According to former CAR minister Mandata, there are fears the Seleka might try to force a breakaway or secession in northern parts of the country, where there is oil.  He called on Chad not to support the Seleka.

    • Chadian African Union soldiers patrol during a joint Chad MISCA French army patrol in Wouango district, Central African Republic, Jan. 9, 2014.
    • Militiamen stand in one of their bases near Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Jan. 9, 2014.
    • Security volunteers use sticks to fend off the crowd trying to enter a food and supplies distribution point at a makeshift camp at Mpoko Airport, in Bangui, Jan. 9, 2014.
    • Workers hold rice bags before distribution at the airport in Bangui, Jan. 8, 2014.
    • A baby is passed over a high fence surrounding an aid distribution point inside a makeshift camp at Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Jan. 8, 2014.
    • A displaced refugee woman carries a rice bag after receiving it as humanitarian aid at the airport outside the capital Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.
    • Newly-cleared plots of land are marked for settlement inside a makeshift camp at Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.
    • A French soldier talks to curious children as he mans a roadblock in the Miskine neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan. 6, 2014.
    • A French soldier waves through traffic as he mans a roadblock in the Miskine neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan. 6, 2014.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora