Central African Republic President, PM Resign
Michel Djotodia had been under pressure to step down amid crisis
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 10, 2014 10:10 AM CST
Michel Djotodia, Central African Republic's president, walks back to the Chadian armored vehicle he arrived in following his meeting with US Ambassador Samantha Power, Dec. 19, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

(Newser) – Michel Djotodia, the rebel leader who seized control of Central African Republic only to see the desperately poor country tumble toward anarchy and sectarian bloodshed, agreed to resign today along with Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye, regional officials announced, following a summit in neighboring Chad on the crisis. On the streets of Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic, there was jubilation about the possibility that the terrible security situation might change. "Finally we are free! We are going to return home at last," said one person living in a displacement camp.

There has been growing pressure for Djotodia to step aside. The resignation should help placate the armed militias who have used to violence to seek his ouster. However, his departure could also create an even greater power vacuum in a land that has long known coups and dictatorship. Djotodia's departure leaves the country in the hands of a weak transitional government. Under its charter, the national transitional council now has 15 days to choose another interim president. For more on the conflict in the country, click here.