The Central African Republic has a new prime minister, and for the first time, a Muslim will be filling the position. Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza called on Mahamat Kamoun to fill the role, as part of a peace agreement to settle the violence that has erupted throughout the nation for over a year.
The appointment of a Muslim prime minister was one of the conditions of the ceasefire between Seleka rebels and anti-Balaka soldiers.
Rev. Nicolas Guérékoyame, President of Evangelical Alliance in CAR said that he supported the appointment, despite opposing religious beliefs.
‘‘We have always said religion should not be used for political purposes in CAR."
‘‘The only criterion that matters for us, is a Central African-born citizen, competent, capable to meet the many challenges the country is currently facing, namely insecurity, the return of [internally displaced people], the regular payment of salaries, etc.,” he said.
In a statement, the new prime minister said his religion was only a part of his identity. "The confessional criterion has played a minor role in my appointment, contrary to what some may think. I see myself as a statesman, an open-minded and unifying man.
‘‘Therefore, reconciliation is one of the actions that the transitional government is expected to implement at this difficult time in our country. With all Central Africa Citizens, the government and the international community, we will work towards that goal.”
Publication date: August 12, 2014