Central Africa leader appeals for help to stop rebel advance

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President of the Central African Republic Francois Bozize
President of the Central African Republic Francois Bozize

Central African Republic's embattled President Francois Bozize appealed on Thursday for French and U.S. help to halt a rebel advance as regional troops moved in to secure the capital in an escalating crisis in one of the world's poorest countries.

The United Nations is pulling out its staff and the United States has warned its citizens to leave in the face of the deteriorating security situation as rebel fighters close in on Bangui, creating alarm among residents.

‘France would not intervene’

But former colonial power France, whose embassy in Bangui came under attack on Wednesday by demonstrators angry at the lack of French help, vowed it would not intervene in the country, which has a chequered history of coups and brutal rule.

Organisers said 10,000 government supporters converged on central Bangui.

The rebel coalition known as Seleka has seized four regional capitals, including a diamond mining hub, since its fighters took up arms on December 10 but said it had no plans to move on the capital.AFP



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