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CAR President Disbands Rebel Group

Seleka rebels, seen here July 15, 2013, in the town of Bria, Central African Republic, overthrew the previous president in March, and are accused of continuing to carry out atrocities.
The president of the Central Africa Republic says he is disbanding the Seleka rebel group that helped to bring him to power earlier this year.

President Michel Djotodia made the announcement Friday in the capital, Bangui, saying the rebel coalition "no longer exists." He did not give further details about what steps he would take to dissolve the group.

In March, President Djotodia led a coalition of armed groups, united under the name Seleka, to topple President Francois Bozize, ending his 10-year rule.

Recently, fighters from the rebel movement have been blamed for clashes with rival militias as well as a surge in robberies, auto thefts, rapes and murders. The violence has forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.

President Djotodia has said that he wants to organize elections in the country within the next 18 months.

The Central African Republic has endured a long series of coups and rebellions since gaining independence from France in 1960.