News / Africa

New CAR Leader Accepts African Transition Plan

Central African Republic's new leader Michel Djotodia greets supporters at a Seleka rebel alliance rally, downtown Bangui, March 30, 2013.
Central African Republic's new leader Michel Djotodia greets supporters at a Seleka rebel alliance rally, downtown Bangui, March 30, 2013.
Reuters
The rebel leader who seized power in Central African Republic and proclaimed himself president accepted on Thursday a call by regional leaders to speed up a transition to democracy, but could stay in office, his information minister said.
 
Michel Djotodia led thousands of rebel fighters of the Seleka coalition into the riverside capital of the mineral-rich country on March 24, toppling President Francois Bozize.
 
African heads of state refused to recognize Djotodia as the country's legitimate leader at a summit in Chad on Wednesday and called for the creation of a transitional council to lead the nation to elections within 18 months.
 
"[Djotodia] accepted all of the recommendations made in N'Djamena ... He accepted all the schemes outlined by the heads of state," Christophe Gazam Betty told reporters following a meeting between Djotodia and regional foreign ministers.
 
African and Western leaders have condemned the seizure of power by the rebels, who accused Bozize of failing to implement previous peace agreements. The African Union suspended the former French colony and imposed sanctions on Djotodia while Washington said he was not a legitimate leader.
 
Djotodia has already tried to contain international condemnation by creating a transitional government headed by a civilian prime minister, Nicolas Tiangaye, and promising elections in three years.
 
However, the regional leaders called for the creation of a transitional body elected by all of the country's political actors and rebel groups to be charged with drawing up a new constitution and preparing the way for elections.
 
Under the plan, the council's head will serve as Central African Republic's president during the transition, which Gazam Betty said could allow Djotodia to keep his current position, this time with international approval.
 
"Everyone will be a candidate," said Djotodia's information minister. "If Mr. Djotodia, after all he's done to date, wants to be a candidate, I see no reason why he wouldn't be president."
 
Troubled cooperation

South African President Jacob Zuma, who attended the summit in Chad, announced late on Wednesday that he would be withdrawing his country's troops from Central African Republic.
 
The killing of at least 13 South African soldiers by the rebels during the March 24 onslaught has prompted questions about South African's role in the country, and how a military training mission there became entangled in an internal conflict.
 
South African media reports have suggested soldiers were defending South African mining interests, but officials in Pretoria have denied this. They say the presence of the 400 South African troops was covered by a 2007 bilateral defense accord with Bozize.
 
"South Africa and South African troops will never serve any unconstitutional government ... Because there is no constitutional government in CAR, our troops are coming back home," Foreign Minister Amite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Thursday.
 
Djotodia's rebel movement, known as Seleka, had previously called for South African troops to leave Central African Republic. But on Thursday, Gazam Betty told Reuters that the agreement between Pretoria and Bozize's administration would remain in effect, despite the president's overthrow.
 
"South Africa wishes to review with the new Central African authorities how this cooperation will evolve. Of course it will continue. No one has said any different," Gazam Betty said.
 
"There is a lot of work to do, and South Africa has a place in all that," he said.

You May Like

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

Euro falls after European Central Bank announces a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program More

Saudi King’s Death Clears Succession Route

Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef is Saudi Arabia's New Crown Prince-in-waiting More

Cloud Hangs Over US Counterterrorism Efforts in Yemen

Sources say resignations of Yemen's president, government has left US anti-terror operations 'paralyzed,' yet an American military 'footprint' remains More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid