News / Africa

CAR Rebels Threaten Capital, Regional Troops Send Reinforcements

Central African Republic soldiers walk near a taxi station in Bangui, December 31, 2012.
Central African Republic soldiers walk near a taxi station in Bangui, December 31, 2012.
Anne Look
Rebels in the Central African Republic continue to threaten the capital, Bangui, as regional leaders work on opening peace talks in January, while deploying troop reinforcements to the frontline.  

Rebels in the Central African Republic say President Francois Bozize must go.  Their Paris-based spokesman told French television on Monday that they will push south to take Damara, about 75 kilometers from Bangui, if they are attacked.

Damara is the frontline defense for the capital.

About six dozen soldiers from Congo-Brazzaville arrived on Monday in Bangui to reinforce the Central African regional peacekeeping force, FOMAC, which is backing up government troops.  Gabon, Chad and Cameroon are also sending in reinforcements.

Congo's ambassador in Bangui, Gabriel Enteha Ebia says the rebels understand that they must stop their advance on Damara.  If FOMAC troops are attacked, the ambassador says they will defend themselves and prevent the rebels from taking the area.

The rebel group Seleka began its lightning offensive in the north on December 10.  On Saturday, the rebels took the city of Sibut, 186 kilometers from the capital.

Government troops have been outmatched.  They were unable to retake the city of Bambari on Friday.

Analysts say government forces did not have a strong presence in the now occupied areas. They say it is unclear how the rebels might fare against regional troops massing in Damara.

Residents of Bangui are anxiously celebrating the new year.  The capital is under strict curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

On Sunday, President Bozize said he is willing to negotiate with the rebels without conditions, and that he would form a national unity government and not run for a third term in 2016.

A rebel spokesman said that they are open to talks, but under certain conditions, including the release of prisoners.

Seleka unites fighters from as many as four rebel groups in the north.  The rebels say the government failed to follow through on peace accords signed between 2007 and 2011 that included paying rebel fighters to disarm and integrating them into the army or back into civilian life.

The Central African Republic has been plagued by insecurity for decades.  President Bozize, a former army chief of staff, came to power during in 2003 coup d'etat.   

 


  • Soldiers patrol a street in Bangui, Central African Republic, January 1, 2013.
  • An end-of-year sign in French reading "happy holidays" hangs over a largely empty street in the capital Bangui, Central African Republic, January 1, 2013.
  • A bushmeat seller in the market in the Bimbo neighborhood of the capital Bangui, Central African Republic, January 1, 2013.
  • Soldiers from the Congolese contingent of the Central African Multinational Force (FOMAC) arrive at an airport in Bangui, December 31, 2012.
  • People wait in line at the BSIC bank in in Bangui, Central African Republic, December 31, 2012.
  • Central African Republic soldiers walk near a taxi station in Bangui, December 31, 2012.
  • A Central African Republic soldier walks past a vendor on a street in Bangui, December 31, 2012.
  • A security guard sits near a closed shop in Bangui, Central African Republic, December 31, 2012.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid