Central African Republic President Bozize Appoints Tiangaye PM

Central African Republic President Francois Bozize appointed the opposition’s Nicholas Tiangaye prime minister to form a unity government designed to end a month-long rebellion that sought his ouster.

State-run Radio Centafrique announced the appointment today in the capital, Bangui. Opposition parties proposed Tiangaye as their choice to become premier as part of an agreement struck at peace talks in the Gabonese capital, Libreville, on Jan. 11.

Bozize will be allowed to finish his term under the agreement, and the Seleka rebel alliance pledged to withdraw from occupied cities and abandon its military advance toward Bangui. A multinational force from neighboring Congo Republic, France and Gabon has been deployed in the country, which is about the size of Texas. South Africa also sent troops.

Seleka says it began the rebellion last month because Bozize, 66, failed to honor a 2008 peace deal. The Central African Republic has been plagued by violence since independence from France in 1960, with at least four battles for Bangui taking place from 1996 to 2003, when Bozize toppled predecessor Ange-Felix Patasse, whom he served as army chief.

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