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Central African Republic gets 1st Muslim PM

BANGUI (AA) – President Catherine Samba-Panza has appointed Mahamat Kamoun as new prime minister of the Central African Republic (CAR), becoming the first Muslim to hold the office. Kamoun, a presidential advisor and the head of the office of former president Michel Djotodia, succeeded Andre Nzapayeke who stepped down on August 5.
Nzapayeke had submitted his resignation upon request from President Samba-Panza who wanted to form a government more representative of the different segments of society in line with a recently ceasefire agreement between the country's rival militias.
Signed in the Democratic Republic of Congo on July 23, the agreement sought an end to months of sectarian violence between the Muslim Seleka and anti-balaka Christian militias.
Muslims have been complaining of poor representation in the government since Djotodia, a Muslim, stepped down on January 10 and replaced by Samba-Panza, a Christian who formerly served as mayor of the capital Bangui.
Land-locked CAR descended into anarchy last year when Seleka ousted then president Francois Bozize, a Christian who had come to power in a 2003 coup, and installed Djotodia.
Christians, who account for the majority of the country's population, accuse Muslims of supporting Seleka militants blamed for attacking Christian homes, looting property and carrying out summary executions during their brief reign.
By Sylvestre Krock

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