April 4, 2013

CAR COUP: African States Reject New Leader

African leaders have refused to recognize self-appointed president of the Central African Republic Michel Djotodia as the president of the coup-hit country.

The heads of state of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) made the decision during a Wednesday regional summit in the Chadian capital N’Djamena.

“As things stand now, it is impossible to recognize a self-proclaimed president,” Chadian President Idriss Deby told journalists on the sidelines of the summit.

Regional leaders have instead called for a new transitional body to run the country to elections.

“A committee selected by national figures must lead the transition. This body will have the executive role and must vote for a transitional president,” Deby said.

Thousands of militants loyal to Seleka rebel leader Djotodia took over the Central African Republic after ousting the president last month.

The militant leader has promised to hand over power to a new government after elections in three years.

He has already appointed a civilian prime minister. But regional countries say that elections must be held sooner.

This comes as the former President Francois Bozizé was forced to leave the country on March 24 after Seleka fighters advanced to the capital, Bangui. The fighters had launched an insurgency in December 2012, accusing the Bozize of not honoring earlier peace deals.

There are many mineral resources in the Central African Republic. However, the country is extremely poor and has faced a series of rebellions and coups since it gained independence in 1960.

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