News / Africa

Central African Republic Government, Rebels Agree to Talks

Central African Republic President Francois Bozize (C) speaks to a crowd of supporters and anti-rebel protesters during an appeal for help, in Bangui, Central African Republic, December 27, 2012.Central African Republic President Francois Bozize (C) speaks to a crowd of supporters and anti-rebel protesters during an appeal for help, in Bangui, Central African Republic, December 27, 2012.
x
Central African Republic President Francois Bozize (C) speaks to a crowd of supporters and anti-rebel protesters during an appeal for help, in Bangui, Central African Republic, December 27, 2012.
Central African Republic President Francois Bozize (C) speaks to a crowd of supporters and anti-rebel protesters during an appeal for help, in Bangui, Central African Republic, December 27, 2012.
Anne Look
The government of the Central African Republic [CAR] and a rebel coalition that has seized one third of the country in the past three weeks have agreed to unconditional talks, even as the two sides continued to skirmish in occupied areas and the rebels advance closer to the capital.  

The rebel group, known as Seleka, began its lightning offensive in the north on December 10 and is edging closer to the capital, Bangui.

Residents of Sibut, a city just 186 kilometers north of the capital, told VOA Saturday that the rebels have arrived there.

The advance came after government troops tried and ultimately failed to retake the city of Bambari from the rebels on Friday. Bambari is 385 kilometers northeast of the capital.

Government forces are backed by regional troops who are protecting the capital. There are a few hundred Chadian troops and a regional peacekeeping force, called FOMAC, from the Economic Community of Central African States, which said Friday it is sending in reinforcements.

The deputy secretary general of the regional body, Guy Pierre Garcia, lead a regional diplomatic mission to Bangui on Friday.

Garcia said the regional mission looked at both how to open up negotiations, as well as how best to further intervene militarily. He said both the government and the rebels have accepted dialogue without conditions in the interest of not prolonging the crisis. He said the idea is to halt hostilities and open talks as soon as possible.

No date has been announced for the talks, which are planned for early January in Gabon's capital, Libreville.

President Francois Bozize had previously demanded the rebels withdraw from captured territory before he will negotiate. The rebels have threatened to attack Bangui and overthrow the government if it does not come to the table.

Seleka is a coalition of fighters from as many as four rebel groups in the north. The rebels say the government must fully implement 2007 and 2011 peace accords that included paying rebel fighters to disarm and integrating them into the Central African Republic army.

Jose Richard Poambi  contributed to this report from Bangui.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid