Central African Republic’s first Muslim president Michel Djotodia has resigned from office at a regional summit aimed at ending the violence that has engulfed the country.

Djotodia took power from former president Francois Bozizé in a coup in March last year, as head of the now-disbanded Séléka rebel forces.

Séléka forces were accused of gross human rights abuses, including mass rape and murder, and of specifically targeting Christians. Violence has continued between the disbanded group and self-defence militias named anti-Balaka (anti-Machete).

Christians had protested for Djotodia’s removal from power before Christmas.