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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid