Christian militia calls on C.Africa president to resign

Central African Republic Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza speaks at the Brookings Institute on September 19, 2014, in Washington, DC (AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards)

Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) - The Christian-dominated anti-balaka militia in the Central African Republic has demanded the country's president resign and asked its members to quit the transitional government, one of their chiefs told AFP on Monday.

The 48-hour ultimatum to President Catherine Samba Panza came after a media report that $10 million (7.9 million euros) of Angolan aid had been pilfered.

"The coordinators of the anti-balaka movement are of the view that the transitional authorities no longer inspire confidence and ask all its representatives in government and in the cabinet of the prime minister to resign," Patrice Edouard Ngaissona, the national coordinator, told AFP.

The CAR, an impoverished former French colony, has been wracked by coups, unrest and misrule since it gained independence.

The country plunged into fresh unrest and bloodletting after a coup last year which felled president Francois Bozize, a former army chief who himself seized power a decade earlier.

Human rights abuses against civilians by mainly Muslim former rebels from the Seleka alliance and vengeful militias from the Christian majority have claimed thousands of lives since March 2013 and displaced more than a quarter of the population of 4.6 million people.

A transitional government was formed at the end of August comprising representatives of civil society, political parties and the Seleka and anti-balaka alliances.

Two ministers close to the anti-balaka movement hold the tourism and environment portfolios.

"The anti-balaka movement gives (President Samba Panza) 48 hours to step down," the national coordinator added, without specifying when the deadline ended.

The president, who was appointed in January, has denied siphoning off Angolan funds. She has been struggling to bring peace to the country and heal wounds opened by the bloodletting.