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CAR 'president' forms caretaker government

Self-proclaimed president Michel Djotodia takes control of five ministries, as political crisis deepens.

Last Modified: 31 Mar 2013 20:12
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Djotodia toppled President Francois Bozize after leading thousands of Seleka rebel fighters into Bangui [Reuters]

Central African Republic's self-proclaimed President Michel Djotodia has announced a caretaker government in which he has taken control of five ministries, including defence, according to a statement issued by his spokesman.

The transitional government, which said it would hold elections within three years following a rebel takeover that ousted former leader Francois Bozize, will keep civilian opposition representative Nicolas Tiangaye as prime minister, according to the statement, released on Sunday.

Djotodia toppled President Bozize on March 24 after leading thousands of his Seleka rebel fighters into the riverside capital Bangui, triggering days of looting and drawing international condemnation.

The African Union suspended Central African Republic and imposed sanctions on Seleka leaders, including Djotodia, last
week.

France and the United States say the rebels should adhere to a power-sharing deal signed in Gabon's capital Libreville in January that mapped out a transition to elections in 2016 in which Bozize was forbidden from running.

Djotodia has pledged to act in the spirit of the agreement and said on Friday he would step down in 2016.

Washington on Saturday that said Tiangaye, named premier under the Libreville agreement, was now the only legal head of government.

Bozize seized power in a 2003 coup, but his failure to keep promises of power-sharing after winning disputed 2011 polls led to the offensive by five rebel groups known as Seleka, which means "alliance" in the Sango language.

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