U.N. calls for restraint in CAR

Jan. 8, 2013 at 1:12 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- A military offensive in the Central African Republic by a rebel consortium is no way to address grievances, the U.N. Security Council stated.

The Seleka rebel coalition in CAR is waging a campaign against President Francois Bozize, accusing his administration of reneging on a 2008 peace deal. The rebel coalition, which holds a significant parts of the country's northern regions, is meeting with regional delegates in Gabon for peace talks this week.

Security Council President Masood Khan, the U.N. ambassador from Pakistan, issued a statement noting the situation in CAR can't be resolved with force.

"Military activities gravely undermine security and stability of the Central African Republic, constitute a threat to the civilian population, and hinder the provision of humanitarian assistance," the statement read.

Eric Massi, a spokesman for the rebel coalition, told al-Jazeera from Paris this week that Bozize needs to step down.

Seleka rebels have outnumbered CAR forces. Voice of America reports that an African military force is deployed between rebel forces and the capital city.

The Security Council statement added it was the central government's responsibility "to maintain law and order and to ensure the safety and security of the civilian population."

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