A spokesman says Central African Republic's interim leader has opened talks with leaders of a Christian militia who have called for her government to resign.

The launch of talks Saturday came after a week of heavy violence in the capital, Bangui, which killed one U.N. peacekeeper and injured more than a dozen others.

Presidential spokesman Antoinette Montaigne said the talks were intended to "defuse the crisis" that has "paralyzed" the city since Tuesday.

The anti-Balaka militia group submitted five demands including the release of arrested members and the inclusion of others in a transition council.

The country has been rocked by violence since a mostly Muslim rebel coalition toppled the president of a decade last year. At least 5,000 people have died in the past nine months.