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Africa

CAR peace talks at a standstill

Libreville was where the last peace agreement between rebels and Central African Government was signed in 2008.
Last modified: 10 Jan 2013 15:37
Seleka rebels attend peace talks with delegations representing the government in Libreville [Reuters]

As the key players in this Central African drama descend on Gabon, the streets of the capital Libreville are lined with police.

The roads are choked with traffic as we drive to the Cite de la Democratie - the site of the talks. Our driver complains that the roads here haven't been expanded since 1994, while the number of cars have doubled.

The comfortable hotels of Libreville with constant electricity and endless hot water must be a pleasant change for the Central African rebels Seleka, who have been camped out in the bush fighting Government forces.

However, one of Seleka's spokesmen, Michel Djotodia, gave me the impression that his men want to get a deal as soon as possible.

It is difficult to see how that can be possible, when both sides are so entrenched in their positions.

There has been an exchange of fiery rhetoric.

The President of CAR Francois Bozize is calling the rebels "terrorists". The rebels say Bozize is a "criminal", and should be tried at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Seleka has already captured some strategic towns in the Central African Republic, and is around 160km from the capital Bangui.

Libreville was where the last peace agreement between rebels and Central African Government was signed in 2008. Regional powers will be hoping an agreement can be reached here once again.