Jan. 23 - Catherine Samba-Pazna takes oath of office in capital city Bangui with the hope of taming inter-religious violence that has killed more than 2,000. Gavino Garay reports.
It's a new era for the Central African Republic. Interim president Catherine Samba-Panza takes the oath of office in the capital city Bangui. Amidst heavy international pressure, the country's former Seleka leader stepped down on January 10. (SOUNDBITE) (French) CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC INTERIM PRESIDENT, CATHERINE SAMBA-PANZA, SAYING: "Samba-Panza Catherine, I swear in front of God and in front of the nation to scrupulously respect the transitional constitutional charter, to guarantee the independence and the continuity of the republic, to safeguard our territorial integrity and preserve peace." The swearing in was attended by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. He says the country needs more foreign troops. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER, LAURENT FABIUS, SAYING: "We've already made an important effort. We never say never, but it's firstly up to the international community to mobilize now." Back in France, French President Francois Hollande hopes this latest shift in governance will bring religious reconciliation. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE SAYING: "We are meeting today on January 23rd, the day when the newly elected Central African Republic President is inaugurated. This is also a sign of hope. Hope that the reconciliation can start, that security will be gradually restored, and that the population will be preserved from the drama of hunger and even worse, from exaction." Nearly one million people have been displaced due to the clashes in this country located in the heart of Africa. Samba-Panza has also said that the country needs more foreign troops on the ground, and that a contingency of 1,600 French troops and 5,000 African Union peacekeepers isn't enough to tame the violence.