There was street dancing and singing Friday in Bangui, capital of Central African Republic, CAR, when the resignation of interim President, Michel Djotodia, was announced after his failing to halt inter-religious violence that has continued to claim thousands of lives.
The Prime Minister, Nicolas Tiangaye, with whom he had a fractious relationship, also stepped down, according to a statement issued by Central African regional body CEEAC.
Djotodia, who became president in March after a coup led by the Seleka rebel group, had faced pressure to step down from leaders in the region because of his failure to stop inter-religious violence in the country.
He was the country’s first Muslim leader.
Over the past year, the country has descended into turmoil amid violence between Christian and Muslim militias that has forced over 1 million people from their homes.
Earlier this week, the United Nations warned that the country was heading toward a humanitarian disaster and France, which had sent hundreds of troops to its former colony, repeatedly expressed its frustration with Djotodia’s government.
An equally fed-up Djotodia responded by saying no one could solve CAR’s myriad of problems in just eight months.
“I am not God, I hope. I am a man like you. And this country is vast — 623,000 square kilometers (387,000 square miles),” he told reporters.
“You could bring an angel from the sky to govern this country and there would still be problems.”
The Parliament leader, Alexandre Ferdinand Nguendet, who was named to serve as interim president, said in an interview: “Our country has never lived through anything like this.”
He noted that civil servants had not been paid in at least three months and that the country was ready to “explode.”
Nguendet will serve for two weeks until a new “transitional president” is chosen by the temporary parliament.