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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Central African Repubic Elects Catherine Samba-Panza President

The Central African Republic's transitional
parliament elected the mayor of the capital
Bangui, Catherine Samba-Panza, as interim
president on Monday. She has the tall task
of ending months of sectarian killings and
guiding the country to elections.

Samba-Panza, who defeated seven other
candidates, succeeds Michel Djotodia, the
leader of the Seleka rebels who seized power
in March. Djotodia stepped down on Jan. 10
under intense international pressure after
failing to halt inter-religious violence that
has displaced more than 1 million people.
Samba-Panza was elected in a second-round
runoff by 75 votes to 53 for her rival Desire
Kolingba, the son of former president Andre
Kolingba.

The landlocked former French colony
descended in chaos in March after Seleka
unleashed a wave of killing and looting,
triggering revenge attacks by Christian
militia known as "Anti-Balaka," which is
opposed to the Seleka rebel group.

Many now hope that the election of a new
interim president with no links to either
camp will help to bring calm to the nation
of 4.6 million people.

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