World

Central African Republic's President, Prime Minister Resign

The president and prime minister of the Central African Republic have both resigned after months of violence and sectarian tensions in the country.

Central African Republic's President, Prime Minister Resign
ENCA / Sia Kambou
SMS

The president and prime minister of the Central African Republic have both resigned after weeks of violence and instability threatened to tear the country apart.

President Michel Djotodia, along with his Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye, came to power in March last year during a coup by the primarily Muslim Seleka militia. Djotodia became the CAR's first Muslim president to rule over a predominantly Christian population. (Via  â€‹Euronews)

Conflict has plagued the CAR under Djotodia as light Christian militia groups clash with the well-armed Seleka. An estimated 1,000 people have been killed during the fighting in recent months, and almost 1 million have been displaced. (Via VICE, CNN)

Amid fears of mass sectarian violence, the U.N. and France sent peacekeeping troops to the CAR in an effort to stabilize the country. Now, the CAR's neighbors have also decided to step in.

Djotodia announced his resignation after pressure from other regional leaders during a summit in neighboring Chad. The CAR's new interim president, Alexandre-Ferdinand Nguendet, told The New York Times"Our country has never lived through anything like this."

The news sparked jubilation among protesters who view Djotodia as the source of the country's deterioration. Several demonstrators confidently predicted the president's ouster would ease tensions between the CAR's different factions. (Via Channel 4)

"Peace is going to return to the Central African Republic. There's going to be no more war between Christians and Muslims, because the man who came to divide us has left." (Via Sky News)

Even with Djotodia gone, many questions still hang over the CAR's future. One expert told Al Jazeera the country's main challenge after the president's ouster will be reigning in his well-armed militia.

"The most important thing that needs to happen now is the discipline of Seleka. ... Their commanders need to bear down on them, some kind of command and control needs to bear on them immediately."

But a BBC analyst says the CAR needs a clean start to escape its cycle of violence, with a government that represents both religious factions.

"The idea here is to pick up a Muslim president who will work alongside a Christian prime minister, and both should not have had anything to do with the mess that is going on."

Regional authorities said talks to fully establish a transitional authority for the CAR will be held within the capital city Bangui in the coming days.