December 29, 2012 / 1:50 PM / in 5 years

CAR rebels occupy Sibut after army withdraws: resident, official

BANGUI (Reuters) - Rebels in Central African Republic took control of the town of Sibut, 190 km (115 miles) north of the capital Bangui, after national army and Chadian soldiers stationed there withdrew, a resident and the head of the pro-government youth movement said on Saturday.

“The rebels arrived at around 9 a.m. on two trucks and several motorcycles and took positions at strategic points in the town, firing their guns,” said Yvon Jolier Bema, a Sibut resident who fled to Bangui. “The national army and the Chadians had left on Friday in the direction of Bangui.”

Levi Yakite, the president of the Young Patriots movement that has been organizing near-daily anti-rebel marches in the capital, confirmed Sibut was now occupied by the rebels in an address on local radio.

Reporting by Paul-Marin Ngoupana; Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Alison Williams

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