Central African Republic's Seleka leader to attend N'Djamena summit

2013-04-16 12:51:07 GMT2013-04-16 20:51:07(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

YAOUNDE, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The Central African Republic's rebel leader, Michel Djotodia, who was elected to head the country during the transition period, will attend the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) summit set for Thursday in the Chadian capital N'Djamena, according to an official source in Bangui.

Djotodia, who was not invited at the April 3 summit, was on Saturday elected to the country's presidency by the National Transitional Council, which also elected his ally, Alexandre Nguendet, as the speaker of this transitional parliament.

The announcement was made by Communication Minister Christophe Gazam-Betty, who spoke to Xinhua on phone from Bangui.

"The president will be attending the N'Djamena summit," the minister said without giving further information.

Saturday's elections by the 105 members of the National Transitional Council assumably gave Djotodia some legitimacy he had lacked since March 24, when he led the Seleka rebels to power, overthrowing President Francois Bozize.

The April 3 summit was attended by Nicolas Tiangaye, who had been reappointed to the position of prime minister by Djotodia.

Tiangaye, initially appointed to the position by Bozize, formed a government of national unity in February after the signing of a truce on Jan. 11 in the Gabonese capital Libreville. The Libreville agreement is internationally recognized. The takeover by rebels is considered a coup.

After the suspension of Central African Republic by the African Union (AU), the April 3 summit rejected to recognize Djotodia's authority.

The second summit was postponed from Monday to allow the National Transitiona Council to carry out the elections of its speaker, who will serve for the next 18 months until democratic elections are held in the country.

Even though the departure for the Chadian capital is expected to take place on Wednesday, the invitations have not been delivered to the delegates. However, a civil society representative said this was not surprising since in the last summit the delegates received their invitations a day before the summit.

The summit is expected to endorse the new decisions taken in Bangui to open a new chapter of Central African Republic's political transition.

The April 3 summit organized by Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno was also attended by Benin's President Boni Yayi, Equatorial Guinea's Theodore Obiang Nguema, the Republic of Congo's Denis Sassou Nguesso, Gabon's Ali Bongo Ondimba, as well as Cameroon's Deputy Prime Minister Amadou Ali and the Democratic Republic of Congo's Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda. Angola and Burundi also sent delegations.

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