Congrats are in order for Catherine Samba-Panza. This beauty has been elected as the first female president of the Central African Republic. Previously, Ms. Samba-Panza was the mayor of Bangui and became the interim president after beating rival, Desire Kolingba, son of the ousted president. President Samba-Panza is tasked with ending the sectarian violence that has been plaguing the Central African Republic for nearly a year.
Those are some pretty big shoes to fill, but President Samba-Panza is up for the challenge. During her acceptance speech, President Samba-Panza said, “I call on my children, especially the anti-balaka, to put down their arms and stop all the fighting. The same goes for the ex-Seleka – they should not have fear. I don’t want to hear any more talk of murders and killings.”
Seleka militia, a Muslim group, went on a killing and looting spree that led to revenge attacks by the anti-balaka, a Christian militia. President Samba-Panza is a Christian, but seen as politically neutral because she does not have ties to either group, said she would try to bring the country together. “Starting today, I am the president of all Central Africans without exclusion.” Many now hope that the election of Samba-Panza will help to bring calm to the nation of 4.6 million people. Here’s hoping President Samba-Panza has what it takes to lead her nation into a peaceful future.