Central African rebels enter capital | News | DW | 23.03.2013
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Central African rebels enter capital

Rebels fighters in the Central African Republic have entered the capital, Bengui. Opponents of President Francois Bozize claim he has reneged on past peace deals.

The Seleka rebel troops entered the capital, spokesperson Eric Massi, told news agency AFP. They were calling for President Francois Bozize - whom they accuse of reneging on a peace deal reached in January - to resign and for the military to surrender.

A separate spokesperson, Nelson Ndjadder, confirmed the advance to Reuters news agency. They had also shot down a military helicopter during the assault, Ndjadder claimed.

Central African Republic (CAR) officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, reported fighting on the outskirts of Bangui.

Within the past day, several towns were taken by the troops after a peace accord between Seleka rebels and the government collapsed. Several opposition groups comprise the Seleka coalition, more commonly referred to as Seleka rebels.

The rebel groups seized the town of Bossangoa, which lies in the west of the country. They later took Damara, where the ceasefire boundary line had been drawn.

The Seleka rebels have faced little resistance from the army, which is ill-trained and ill-equipped.

The UN Security Council has reacted to the unravelling situation with alarm. On Friday, the 15-nation body met to discuss the escalation of hostilities. They later released a press statement warning the rebels that they would face consequences for any subsequent human rights violations.

kms/jlw (AFP, AP, Reuters)