Central African Republic leader resigns

Central African Republic interim leader, Michel Djotodia, stepped down during the regional summit of the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) held in Chad on Jan. 9.

After his resignation, citizens took to the streets of Bangui, most of them celebrating the news. Prime Minister Nicolas Tiengaye also resigned.

Although pressure for Djotodia’s resignation was not on the official agenda for the summit, CEEAC Secretary General Ahmat Allami said the group would tell him that his transitional government is not working.

Djotodia was installed as CAR’s first Muslim leader last March after thousands of Séléka rebels flooded the capital of Bangui, forcing the democratically elected President François Bozizé into exile.

Since the coup, Djotodia had been unable to decrease violence in the country, and the UN has warned of an impending humanitarian disaster. Violence between the Christian majority and the Muslim rebels has increased.

Jeffrey Feltman, UN political affairs chief, reported this week that 2.2 million people – approximately half of the population – need assistance. It is estimated that half of the population has been left homeless because of the conflict.

J. Peter Pham, African Center director of the Atlantic Council, told Al Jazeera that Djotodia had lost the minimal support base he took power with and was thought to have a very limited number of constituents left.

CAR’s National Transitional Council will choose a transitional leader until elections take place, whcih are planned for the end of 2014.

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