Central African Republic president says ready to form coalition government with rebels

BANGUI Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:35am EST

Central African Republic President Francois Bozize (C) speaks to a crowd of supporters and anti-rebel protesters during an appeal for help, in Bangui December 27, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

Central African Republic President Francois Bozize (C) speaks to a crowd of supporters and anti-rebel protesters during an appeal for help, in Bangui December 27, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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BANGUI (Reuters) - Central African Republic President Francois Bozize said on Sunday he was ready to form a coalition government with the Seleka rebel alliance and would not stand for re-election in 2016.

He told a news conference following a meeting with African Union Chairman Thomas Yayi Boni in the capital Bangui that he was ready for peace talks in Gabon, without conditions.

A three-week-old Seleka rebellion has advanced to within 75 km (45 miles) of Bangui, posing the most serious threat yet to Bozize's nearly 10 years in charge of the turbulent and resource-rich former French colony.

(Reporting by Ange Aboa and Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Alison Williams)

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