The Central African Republic capital of Bangui remained tense Tuesday as rebels threatened to take the last major government stronghold, the city of Damara, just 75 kilometers away. President Francois Bozize said he is willing to negotiate a unity government. However, rebels say he must go. It remains to be seen whether or not a negotiated solution is still possible.
Regional leaders are trying to organize peace talks in Gabon on January 10 between the government of the Central African Republic and a northern rebel alliance known as Seleka that has seized a third of the country in less than three weeks.
The rebels continue to edge toward the capital from their southernmost position, the city of Sibut, which is 186 kilometers away.
Their demands have evolved from saying the government must implement peace accords signed between 2007 and 2011 to calling on President Francois Bozize to step down. The rebels say they were supposed to be paid to disarm or integrate into the government military.
Bozize said he is ready to negotiate as soon as possible to create a coalition government. He said he will not stand for re-election when his term ends in 2016.
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