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Africa

CAR's Seleka rebels reinstate leader

Michel Djotodia, former president of Central African nation, to head Muslim-led group under new name, spokesman says.

Last updated: 13 Jul 2014 16:56
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Though Djotodia fled to Benin, analysts believe he stayed in contact with rebel commanders in the CAR [AP]

The Central African Republic's former president has been reinstated as head of one of the rebel groups in the country, according to a spokesperson.

Ahmat Mahamat Nedjad said on Sunday that Michel Djotodia was re-elected as head of the Seleka rebel group, a Muslim-led movement that took over the CAR in the coup in March 2014.

In addition to appointing a political wing of more than 30 members, Nedjad announced a change to the name of the group.

The Seleka would now be known as the The Popular Front for the Rebirth of Central African Republic, he said.

Nedjad said the decision was made during a meeting in the northern CAR town of Birao.

Mapping Central African Republic's bloodshed

Djotodia became president last year after Seleka toppled the government.

He resigned in January amid international pressure. Though he fled to Benin, analysts believe he has stayed in contact with rebel commanders.

Christian militias, known as the anti-Balaka, have since sought revenge for Seleka abuses.

The sectarian violence has left thousands dead.

About a quarter of the population of 4.5  million has been uprooted for fear of brutal raids by armed groups.

The landlocked nation has become more dependent than ever on food supplies from Cameroon and its Atlantic port of Douala, which lies about 1,400km from Bangui by road.

In June, a UN report said that there was "ample evidence" to suggest that both sides had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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