Rebels secure presidential palace in Central African Republic
Monday, March 25, 2013 - 00:46
March 25 - Rebel fighters secure the presidential palace in Bangui as the Central African Republic rebel chief prepares to name a power-sharing government. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Rebel fighters from the Seleka coalition aimed to cement their seizure of power in Central African Republic by securing the presidential palace in the capital Bangui on Monday, a day after it was looted.
Around 200 Seleka fighters arrived at the palace in a convoy, some shot in the air in celebration before going inside the palace and the residence of ousted president Francois Bozize.
A rebel leader pledged to name a power-sharing government in a bid to defuse international criticism of Sunday's coup that killed 13 South African soldiers and plunged the mineral-rich nation into chaos.
The Seleka rebel coalition's seizure of power was swiftly condemned by the United Nations and the African Union. But in a sign of pragmatism, the United States, France and regional powerbroker Chad called on the insurgents to respect the terms of a recent peace deal.
The Seleka fighters seized power on Sunday after a lightening offensive in which the they fought their way from the far north to the presidential palace in just four days after a January power-sharing agreement signed in the Gabonese capital Libreville collapsed.
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