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  Politics
US congratulates C. African Republic on first female interim president
22/01/2014 | LOC10:08
07:08 GMT
| World News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
WASHINGTON, Jan 22 (KUNA) -- US Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the new interim president of the Central African Republic (C.A.R) - and the first female - who is now expected to lead the severely fractured nation to elections in just over a year.
Catherine Samba-Panza replaced Michel Djotodia, who stepped down on January 10 after international pressure to resign.
Djotodia, backed by Muslim rebels, took over the presidency after a coup in March, an event that unfurled a string of revenge attacks by Christian militias.
The violence has taken a brutal turn in recent months as the bloodshed between the two sides caused some 2,000 deaths, according to the United Nations. "The United States has been deeply engaged in the work to help pull C.A.R back from the brink, including the pivotal visits of Ambassador Samantha Power and Assistant Secretary Linda Thomas-Greenfield less than a month ago," said Kerry in a statement, late on Tuesday.
"The United States, along with regional leaders of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the African Union, and other members of the international community, hopes to support President Samba-Panza and call on the people of CAR to work constructively with her, participate in the political process, and avoid any resurgence in violence," he added.
Kerry praised the Transitional National Council "for conducting the selection process in a deliberate, open, and transparent manner that ensured the airing of a full range of views from C.A.R's civil society." "As C.A.R's first woman head of state since the country's independence, and with her special background in human rights work and mediation, she has a unique opportunity to advance the political transition process, bring all the parties together to end the violence, and move her country toward elections not later than February 2015," he said. (end) ys.lb KUNA 221008 Jan 14NNNN
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