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CAR Rebels Declare End to Cease-fire

  • VOA News

Soldiers from Central African Republic's Seleka rebel group arrive at the airport ahead of planned peace talks with the Central African Republic's government, Libreville, Gabon, Jan. 7, 2013.

Soldiers from Central African Republic's Seleka rebel group arrive at the airport ahead of planned peace talks with the Central African Republic's government, Libreville, Gabon, Jan. 7, 2013.

Rebels in the Central African Republic said they are ending a cease-fire after the government failed to meet a series of recent demands.

Eric Massi, a spokesman for the Seleka rebel coalition said on Wednesday that the rebel ultimatum has "expired" and hostilities may resume.

The Seleka Coalition
-Made up of several rebel factions
-Aims to remove President Francois Bozize
-Accuses Bozize of failing to honor cease-fire
-Seized 10 towns in December
The rebels already went on the offensive last week, taking control of three southeastern towns. They are also holding five ministers who had joined the government from rebel ranks as part of a January peace deal.

Seleka has accused the government of not living up to that accord, and demanded the departure of South African troops protecting the government in the capital, Bangui.

The rebels launched their initial offensive in December and came less than 100 kilometers of Bangui.

Seleka unites at least three rebel groups in the north that say the government failed to implement peace deals signed in 2007 and 2011 that included paying rebel fighters and integrating them into the army.

On Sunday, the United States said it was deeply concerned by the deterioration in the CAR's security situation. It called on President Bozize and the Seleka rebel coalition to cease hostilities immediately and implement the provisions of the Libreville agreement.
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