Central Africa: Regional Body Finds it 'Impossible' to Recognise Michel Djotodia as Central African President

4 April 2013

Members of the Economic Community of Central African States met in an extraordinary meeting in Djamena, Chad, under the auspices of Idriss Derby, the current chairman and president of the Republic of Chad.

The main purpose of the meeting was to discuss the situation in Central African Republic, itself a member of the organization. The new strongman of CAR, Michel Djotodia, was not in attendance but the country was represented by its Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye.

At the summit it was decided that it is impossible to "recognize a self-proclaimed president", Idriss Derby said before listing the principal decisions of the Djamena meeting.

Firstly, the formation of a committee designated by all the political and civil society groups in CAR. This body will in turn appoint a leader to act as the head of the executive during the transition period of 18 months.

Secondly, a legislative body will be formed in the same manner, which will be in charge of constitutional reforms, until an elected assembly is put in place.

This decision will be taken as urgently as Thursday by the Chadian minister of foreign affairs who will visit Bangui. Partners like the AU, EU, the UN and the Francophonie were invited to contact the minister. Another meeting, the agenda to be determined by the result of the minister's visit to CAR, will be held in Djamena where a political decision that will "save the Central African Republic and put a stop to the current disorder in the country" will be taken.

Meanwhile, the South African President Jacob Zuma who was also present at the meeting, has agreed to withdraw his forces, who suffered a heavy loss on March 23, from the Central African Republic. He took the opportunity to encourage Benin's President Thomas Yaya Boni to consider granting asylum to the deposed Francois Bozizé if asked.

Translated from Economic Community of Central African States' French text by Michael Tantoh

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