Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Central African Republic rebels say divided over peace talks offer
DAKAR (Reuters) - Central African Republic's Seleka rebels are divided over whether to start peace talks with President Francois Bozize or carry on an assault to overthrow him, one of the insurgent group's spokesmen said on Monday.
The rebels have advanced to within 75 km (45 miles) of the mineral-rich country's capital Bangui and their leaders are now considering a proposal from Bozize to hold negotiations and form a unity government.
"At the moment there are divisions within Seleka on this point," said Nelson Ndjadder, a France-based official for CPSK - one of the three main rebels movements that make up the Seleka alliance.
"Some want to keep fighting, but CPSK is ready to put down its weapons and talk," he added.
Another Seleka spokesman, Eric Massi, said earlier in the day the group had rejected Bozize's proposal, but Ndjadder said: "He (Massi) is not speaking on behalf of all of us."
Seleka unites three main former rebel groups - CPJP, UFDR and CPSK - who have accused Bozize of reneging on a 2007 peace deal under which ex-fighters were meant to be paid for laying down their arms.
(Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Andrew Heavens)