N’DJAMENA, Chad (AP) — The rebel leader-turned-president of Central African Republic is at a regional summit where he’s expected to face renewed pressure to step aside less than a year after he seized power.
Michel Djotodia was installed as president after his rebel fighters stormed the capital of Bangui in March. The country has since deteriorated into near anarchy.
Violence between Christians and Muslims left more than 1,000 people dead in December, and nearly 1 million have fled their homes in fear.
Djotodia is attending a regional summit Thursday in the Chadian capital along with presidents from Chad, Congo and Gabon.
His spokesman has issued a statement denying rumors that Djotodia will step down at the meeting.
Djotodia’s critics say he has failed to stem the attacks blamed on his fighters.
In a message to the summit, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “‘The danger of further upheaval along religious lines is real and poses a long-term danger to the country.”
Ban also said that the United Nations intends to establish a commission to “document abuses and human rights violations. Together, we must send a strong message that those committing atrocities will be held accountable.”
Associated Press writer Peter James Spielmann contributed from the United Nations.