CAR rebels claim to have entered capital

2013-03-23 21:04
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Bangui - Rebel forces in the Central African Republic said on Saturday that they had entered the capital Bangui and called on the army not to fight them and for the president to leave.

The claim by rebel spokesperson Eric Massi came after a regional stabilisation force commander said explosions and gunfire were heard on the outskirts of the city.

Central Africa's prime minister had earlier on Saturday called for talks with rebels who at the time were thought to have advanced to within striking distance of the capital.

"The prime minister [Nicolas Tiangaye] asks our brothers of the Seleka [rebel coalition] to get in touch with the national unity government to find a peaceful solution and avoid a blood bath," a spokesperson for the premier, Crepin Mboli Goumba, told AFP.

Fighters from the Seleka rebel coalition this week pushed their way to the gates of Bangui following the collapse of a two-month-old peace deal in the country that has been plagued by instability since its independence from France in 1960.


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