The president of war-torn Central African Republic said on Thursday he no longer enjoys the power he seized in a bloody March coup as ruling the country has affected his sleep.
In a public meeting with representatives from political parties, Michel Djotodia complained that the assembled group could sleep easy while he lay awake worrying about national security, sometimes even forgetting about his wife lying next to him.
“If you don’t sleep, would you cling on to the very thing that stopped you from sleeping?” he asked the group.
“Sometimes you don’t even have thoughts about your wife! Sometimes, I wake up suddenly to ask the security minister what is happening!” he said, describing how ruling a country wracked by sectarian conflict had played havoc with his nocturnal routine.
The former leader of the Seleka rebels added he hoped “things changed for the better, so that I can go,” despite having proclaimed himself president on March 24 in a coup that overthrew then head of state Francois Bozize.
In principle, general elections will be held in 2015 in the Central African Republic, but Djotodia and his supporters are not expected to participate.
Djotodia is the first Muslim president in the Christian-majority country, and some of the recent deadly violence has had religious undertones, with both churches and mosques being burnt.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius described the country as in “total disorder” on Thursday.