April 14, 2013

Coup Leader Elected President In Central African Republic

Rebel leader Michel Djotodia has been elected president by an acting parliament in the Central African Republic.

 

Michel Djotia, CAR's coup leader is the new President
Michel Djotia, CAR’s coup leader is the new President

Meeting in the capital Bangui on Saturday, the 105-member National Transitional Council unanimously elected Djotodia as the president of the country in a ceremony that was attended by political leaders, the press and representatives of international organizations.

According to guidelines set by the Economic Community of Central African States, Djotodia has to hold elections in 18 months to select a new leader of the country.

Djotodia, who agreed not to seek re-election at the end of the transitional period, told the delegates of the council, “I will do as you instruct me to do, and not according to my wishes.”

On March 24, Djotodia led thousands of the Seleka rebels who overthrew President Francois Bozizé Yangouvonda.

African states had refused to recognize him as the country’s legitimate leader and demanded the creation of the transitional council.

The Seleka rebels started the offensive against the CAR government of Bozizé in December 2012.

There are many mineral resources, including gold and diamonds, 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.

International humanitarian assistance organizations have said that armed groups including fighters of the Seleka movement continue to rob people, spread chaos and recruit children into their ranks.

“The new Seleka government should assume their responsibility and re-establish control over these armed groups,” French aid organization MSF said in a statement.

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