Youssou N'Dour records song for peace in Central Africa

Youssou N'Dour records song for peace in Central Africa

Dakar (AFP) - Senegalese music icon Youssou N'Dour will on Sunday record a song dedicated to peace in Central African Republic with a singer from the country which has been torn apart by inter-religious violence, his office said.

N'Dour, a Muslim, will collaborate with Central African singer Lydie Natacha, who goes by the stage name of Idylle Mamba and is a Christian, his spokesman Charles Faye said in a statement on Saturday.

N'Dour "decided to associate the voice of a Christian from the Central African Republic with his (to) encourage strong international solidarity to restore a definitive peace" to the country, said Faye.

The Grammy-winning musician has over 20 albums to his name and has long been involved in social and humanitarian issues. He is also a businessman and was in 2012 appointed a government minister, first in charge of culture and tourism and then only tourism.

He is now an advisor to President Macky Sall.

Probably best known in the West for his "7 Seconds" hit collaboration with Neneh Cherry, N'Dour has also collaborated with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Wyclef Jean, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and others.

The artist's music is a fusion of Senegal's popular Mbalax music style with samba, hip-hop, jazz and soul, tackling political and social issues.

Idylle Mamba is from Bangui, which has been the scene of horrific violence pitting Muslim fighters and Christian militia against each other following months of tensions after the country's first Muslim president was brought to power in a coup.

Michel Djotodia's former Seleka rebel group carried out atrocities against civilians in the wake of the March 2013 coup, prompting Christian communities to retaliate in what has become a spiralling cycle of bloodshed.

Djotodia resigned under international pressure this month and violence has continued as new interim leader Catherine Samba Panza, who was sworn in Thursday, sets about forming her government.