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Africa in the News: CAR President and Prime Minister Resign, Kagame is Not Dead and Fighting Rages on in South Sudan

Central African Republic's President Michel Djotodia

The CAR President and Prime Minister Resign under Pressure from Regional Leaders

Interim Central African Republic president, Michel Djotodia, and his prime minister, Nicolas Tiangaye, have resigned from their leadership posts in the Central African Republic.  The announcement was made after deliberations at a two-day regional summit of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in Chad; the regional bloc lost patience with Djotodia’s inability to maintain stability.  ECCAS had agreed to the installation of Djotodia as the interim president after last year’s coup d’etat over former president Bozize, but Djotodia failed to gain full control over his militia.  There will be another round of meetings in 15 days to select a new leader for the troubled CAR.

Paul Kagame Falsely Rumored to be Dead on Twitter

Congolese in the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reportedly took to the streets in celebration of Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s rumored, but falsely reported, death.  Kagame was accused last week of ordering the murder of an ex-spy chief, Patrick Karegeya, in South Africa.  Kagame’s efforts to improve the Rwandan economy are often lauded, but his human rights record is often criticized. Also, in regards to Rwanda this week, the New York Times featured an op-ed that discusses the need to declassify documents from the Rwandan genocide in order to prevent future tragedies:  Many of the documents surrounding genocide remain classified in multiple countries.

Fighting Rages on in South Sudan

Despite having participated in peace talks in Addis Ababa, South Sudanese forces under President Salva Kiir and the rebel forces supporting Riek Machar remain embroiled in civil war.  Earlier this week, peace talks under the regional body Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) seemed to have made progress, but the negotiations stalled when Kiir refused to release rebel detainees and Machar refused an offer to move negotiations to the U.N. compound in Juba. The U.S. Senate met Thursday to discuss the issue and the U.S. issued a statement to both sides to cease violent attacks. The death toll in South Sudan has risen to approximately 10,000 people. This Voice of America article contains more background on the Kiir-Machar rift.

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