As African leaders meet in Chad, CAR's Djotodia may step down

Updated Jan. 10, 2014 at 12:31 PM
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N'DJAMENA, Chad, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Central African leaders met Thursday in N'Djamena, Chad, to discuss the government and humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic.

The meeting of the Economic Community of Central African States was convened to debate a solution to the anarchic situation in the Central African Republic where violence that erupted a month ago has killed 1,000 people and prompted the deployment of French and regional troops.

Rumors at the summit suggest interim CAR President Michael Djotodia, who seized power in March 2013, may announce his resignation, the Voice of America reported.

A spokesman for Djotodia denied the rumor.

Lewis Mudge, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, a humanitarian advocacy group based in New York, said he would not be surprised if Djotodia, leader of the Seleka rebels, steps down because France and regional stakeholders have grown frustrated with his administration.

Mudge said, in a published article this week regarding the presence of African Union peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic, little would likely change in the country if Djotodia resigns but noted a leadership vacuum is a worrying prospect.

Roland Marchal, Central Africa expert at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, said the CAR government has done little since Djotodia took power but removing him would not be a magic solution.

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