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C.Africa's post-coup regime holds first cabinet meeting

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The interim government of the Central African Republic said Friday it had held its first cabinet meeting, after seizing power in a bloody coup last month.

Government spokesman Crepin Mboli-Goumba said in a statement the meeting was called due to the "need to get to work without delay in order to deal with the numerous challenges faced by Central Africans."

Michel Djotodia of the Seleka rebel coalition grabbed power on March 24 after a rapid-fire assault on the capital Bangui on the grounds that ousted leader Francois Bozize had failed to abide by a January peace deal.

He kept opposition figure Nicolas Tiangaye in office as head of the government, in line with the accords signed with Bozize in Gabon's capital Libreville.

Tiangaye on Sunday named a 34-member cabinet, including nine Seleka ministers, eight ministers from the former opposition and one close to Bozize.

Strongman Djotodia was named defence minister.

The remaining 16 portfolios went to civil society leaders and smaller political parties.

This government should only be temporary, after regional heads of state rejected Djotodia's self-proclaimed presidency and plans for a three-year transition to elections.

Leaders of the six-nation bloc Economic Community of Central African States on Wednesday called for a freshly elected council to take charge of a political transition and to elect a new interim president for no more than 18 months.

Tiangaye on Thursday said that Djotodia had agreed to the regional plan.

According to the Seleka coalition and rival rebel group, the Democratic Front for the Central African People (FDPC), the two movements clashed in Central Africa's northeast in recent days.

The fighting comes after the FDPC had threatened to take up arms against Seleka.

In a statement Friday, the FDPC said it had been the victim of a surprise Seleka assault near the Cameroon border and that "the damage of the attack is colossal".

An anonymous Seleka source confirmed the information.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130405/cafricas-post-coup-regime-holds-first-cabinet-meeting-0