THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published — Friday 21 December 2012
Last update 20 December 2012 11:16 pm
BANGUI, Central African Republic: Rebels in Central African Republic seized another town in their rapid offensive yesterday, residents said, moving to within about 400 kilometers (250 miles) of the capital.
However, the alliance of rebel groups behind the attacks said it would hold on to the towns they’d already taken but now were ready to hold negotiations with the government.
“While awaiting to see the realization of this step, the advance of our troops has been unilaterally halted,” the alliance known as Seleka said in a statement given to journalists.
The two-week offensive by the rebels seeking to re-negotiate past peace deals already has prompted the government to seek military help from neighboring Chad.
Some 2,000 Chadian forces arrived yesterday, about a week after the rebel offensive began, and will be used to secure strategic routes and fortify the capital of Bangui.
In just two weeks, the rebels have taken at least seven towns including Batangafo.
The rebel alliance come from three separate rebel groups who are demanding that the government re-negotiate the terms of past peace accords.