FILE – In this Jan. 5, 2013 file photo, government security forces in a pickup truck drive past a demonstration calling for peace as negotiators prepare for talks with rebels from the north, in downtown Bangui, Central African Republic Saturday. On Friday, March 22, rebels took the town of Damara, beginning a new march to take the capital, Bangui, said a rebel spokesman. Panic spread throughout the capital, with the neighborhoods closest to the northern gate of the city emptying out, as frightened residents locked up their shops, packed their bags and yanked their children out of school. Banks and government offices closed early.(AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Rebels overthrew Central African Republic’s president of a decade on Sunday, seizing the presidential palace and declaring that the desperately poor country has “opened a new page in its history.” The country’s president fled the capital, while extra French troops moved to secure the airport, officials said.
The rebels’ invasion of the capital came just two months after they had signed a peace agreement that would have let President Francois Bozize serve until 2016. That deal unraveled in recent days, prompting the insurgents’ advance into Bangui and Bozize’s departure to a still unpublicized location.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the unconstitutional seizure of power and called for the swift restoration of constitutional order, U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said.
The U.N. chief appealed for calm and reiterated that the January peace agreements “remain the most viable framework to ensure durable peace and Login to read more