UN appeals for calm after resignation of Central African leaders
Prime Minister of the Central African Republic Nicolas Tiangaye - AP

UNITED NATIONS, United States: A top UN official called for calm Saturday in the Central African Republic, following the resignation of its president and prime minister after months of sectarian violence.

The United Nations’ special representative to the country, Babacar Gaye, appealed to the population “to maintain calm and show maturity following the resignations.”

Gaye also urged them to back the efforts of international forces dispatched to help restore order.

“Their efforts must be supported, especially as numerous threats persist,” he said.

He added that the United Nations and humanitarian organizations “are fully mobilized to assist approximately two million people who are in urgent need of assistance across the country.”

Ex-president Michel Djotodia, a former rebel leader, was in Benin Saturday, one day after resigning under intense diplomatic pressure.

His prime minister, Nicolas Tiangaye, also resigned after an extraordinary meeting of central African countries in N’Djamena, after failing to stem sectarian violence ripping the country apart.

The UN statement called on members of the National Transitional Council (CNT) to quickly elect a new transitional executive in the violence-plagued republic.

Deadly violence including reports of cannibalism and widespread looting erupted in the capital Bangui overnight, as an airlift of stranded foreigners began on Saturday.

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