Central African Republic's newly elected president has appointed his campaign manager as the country's prime minister.

President Faustin Archange Touadera announced late Saturday that Simplice Sarandji was the new prime minister. The 61-year-old professor succeeds Mahamat Kamoun in office.

Touadera, a former math professor and prime minister, took the oath of office Wednesday, becoming the first elected leader since Muslim rebels overthrew the government more than three years ago.

Touadera, a Christian, has vowed to unify the country torn apart by sectarian violence between Christians and Muslim fighters that exploded in late 2013.

Sarandji, also a Christian, was a professor and the secretary-general at the University of Bangui, and has few political ties. The president will next name a Cabinet, another step toward stabilizing the country.