24 Dec 2012

Another town taken by CAR rebels

1:17 pm on 24 December 2012

Rebels in the Central African Republic have seized the city of Bambari, the third largest in the country.

It is the sixth town they have taken this month and the closest to the capital Bangui. The city reportedly fell after two hours of fighting.

The BBC reports the rebels want to overthrow President Francois Bozize who they accuse of failing to honour a peace deal in 2007, which was meant to see the release of political prisoners and payment for fighters who laid down their arms.

Regional leaders have called on the Seleka coalition to withdraw to their original positions and accept talks with the government.

Seleka is made up of factions from three former armed groups. Their campaign began a month ago

The BBC reports Chad, which has helped President Bozize fight several rebellions in the past, has stationed troops about 200km north of Bangui to act as a buffer force if the rebels continue their advance.

Mr Bozize has been in power since leading a coup in 2003 and winning elections in 2005 and 2011.