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Central African Republic, rebels to hold talks soon

Last Updated: Saturday, December 29, 2012 - 10:49

Zeenews Bureau

Bangui: Amidst ongoing clashes, the Central African Republic (CAR) government and rebels have reportedly decided to hold talks “within the next few days.” No pre-condition has been set prior to talks which will be held in Libreville, as per BBC report.

The decision to hold talks comes after reports of fresh clashes between the government and rebels took place in Bambari, which fell under rebel control five days ago.

In the wake of deteriorating security situation, the United States evacuated its embassy in Bangui and United Nations called back its non-essential staff. The evacuation of the US diplomats came in the wake of criticism of how the US handled diplomatic security before and during the attack on its consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept 11. The ambassador and three other Americans were killed in that attack.

After President Francois Bozize’s appeal for international help, the neighbors of CAR have decided to send soldiers to aid the government. Representatives from the 10-nation Economic Community of Central African States meeting in Gabon, though, did not specify how many troops they could contribute nor did they outline how quickly the military assistance would arrive.

Speaking to crowds in Bangui, a city of some 600,000, Bozize pleaded with foreign powers to do what they could. He pointed in particular to France. About 200 French soldiers are already in the country, providing technical support and helping to train the local army, according to the French defense ministry.

"France has the means to stop (the rebels) but unfortunately they have done nothing for us until now," Bozize said.

(With Agency Inputs)

First Published: Saturday, December 29, 2012 - 10:49

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