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CAR interim President Michel Djotodia resigns

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By Agencies

Posted  Friday, January 10   2014 at  15:41

In Summary

Since December and the arrival of more regional peacekeepers and French troops, 1,000 people have died in sectarian clashes.

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Central Africa Republic's interim President Michel Djotodia has resigned at a regional summit aimed at ending violence that has engulfed the country.

CAR's entire transitional assembly is attending the meeting in Chad organised by regional leaders.

Mr Djotodia, CAR's first Muslim leader, had been resisting pressure to go.

His seizure of power last year has led to 20% of the population fleeing their homes amid fighting between Christian and Muslim militias.

The UN has warned of an impending humanitarian disaster.

Since December and the arrival of more regional peacekeepers and French troops, 1,000 people have died in sectarian clashes.

Many villages are deserted and in the last month the number of those who have fled their homes has doubled - including almost half of those living in the capital city, Bangui.

Mr Djotodia's resignation was made in a statement by the 10-nation Economic Community of Central African States (Eccas).

His prime minister Nicolas Tiengaye, with whom he had a fractious relationship, has also resigned, the AFP news agency reports.

Earlier Eccas Secretary-General Ahmat Allami said members of CAR's National Transitional Council (CNT) had been flown in at short notice to decide the leadership of their nation.

The lawmakers met regional leaders while Mr Djotodia held separate talks with allies from his former Seleka rebel alliance, AFP reported.

Under a deal brokered by regional powers last year, the CNT was charged with choosing a transitional leader to take CAR to elections due at the end of 2014. It formally elected Mr Djotodia to his position as interim president last April.

Earlier on Friday, thousands of people in Bangui took to the streets demanding the resignation of Mr Djotodia, a former Soviet-trained civil servant.

His Seleka rebel alliance seized power last March overthrowing in the then-President Francois Bozize, from CAR's majority Christian population.

Although Mr Djotodia officially disbanded the Seleka rebels, he has proved unable to keep them in check.

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