Presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on October 19 in the Central Africa Republic (CAR) in the hope of ending the religious conflict between Muslims and Christians in the country which has been ongoing for two years, Reuters has reported.
The country was plunged into chaos when the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in the majority Christian country in March 2013, toppling President Francois Bozize. Seleka's rule was impaired by abuses that prompted a backlash from the mostly Christian Anti-balaka militia.
Michel Djotodia, the leader of the Seleka rebels, bowed to international pressure and went into exile in January.
Tens of thousands of Muslims have fled to a northern enclave still controlled by the Seleka, fleeing Anti-balaka attacks and effectively splitting the country in two along religious lines.
France has deployed troops and an African peacekeeping force was beefed up and transformed into a UN mission to stem the sectarian violence.
“A transitional commission will be in charge of organizing elections to restore democratic rule,” Georges Ndamoyen, a spokesman for the interim government, said on Thursday.
Although the elections were planned to be held in June or July, the date was considered to be unrealistic at the national peace forum held last month.
A new calendar for the elections has been agreed by government officials and attendants in a meeting.
The total cost of the elections will be nearly 35 million dollars, half of which has already been collected and the remainder of which is planned to be fulfilled by donors, Ndamoyen said.
Violence in the CAR has decreased in recent months. However there have still been some incidents of killings between Christians and Muslims.
Trials concerning 50 criminal incidents will start on June 29 in the CAR’s capital court, according to a statement from the country’s Ministry of Justice.