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CAR Rebels Agree to Cease-fire

  • VOA News

Central African Republic delegation awaits opening of peace talks with the Seleka rebel alliancein Libreville, Gabon, Jan. 9, 2013

Central African Republic delegation awaits opening of peace talks with the Seleka rebel alliancein Libreville, Gabon, Jan. 9, 2013

Rebels in the Central African Republic say they have agreed to a temporary cease-fire deal with the government.

Representatives of the Seleka rebel coalition say they reached the agreement Thursday, during talks with the CAR government and opposition leaders in Gabon's capital, Libreville.

The cease-fire is reportedly for one week. There was no immediate word from the government.

Negotiators began peace talks Wednesday aimed at ending a month-long rebellion in which Seleka has seized about one-third of the CAR's territory.

The rebel coalition is currently about 85 kilometers of the capital, Bangui. A multi-national African force of several hundred soldiers is standing between the group and the capital.

The rebels have been calling for President Francois Bozize's resignation. However, the president says he has already made large concessions and intends to finish out his term, which ends in 2016.

Seleka is made up of fighters from three rebel groups in the country's north. The coalition says the government did not uphold peace accords signed in 2007 and 2008.

Rebels in the northern CAR have repeatedly risen up against Bozize since he was first elected in 2005, two years after he seized power in a coup.
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