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December 19, 2013 AT 8:27 AM
Central African Republic will bring forward presidential elections to next year, Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye said on Thursday, bowing to pressure from former colonial power France to speed up a transition after a March coup. Interim President Michel Djotodia, leader of the Seleka rebel group that seized the capital Bangui in March, was set to remain in office until 2015 under a deal hammered out with regional African powers. France deployed troops to the resource-rich country this month in an attempt to halt a wave of killings between mostly Muslim Seleka and anti-Christian defense militias.