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U.S. Visitors Encouraged to Leave Central Africa Republic as Rebel Fighters Plan Takeover

US citizens and UN workers have been warned to leave Central African Republic in fear of African rebel fighters harming them.

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If you have family in Central Africa Republic (CAR), you may want to do all you can to ensure they’re safe. The U.S. and U.N. have encouraged its citizens to evacuate CAR as rebel fighters advance into the nation.

The U.S. Department of State has warned U.S. citizens against all but essential travel outside Bangui. On Sunday, the departure of  authorized non-emergency personnel in Bangui was authorized.

U.S. citizens should review their personal security situation and consider taking advantage of commercial flights,” the department said. “Armed militia groups, bandits and poachers present real dangers, and the Central African government is unable to guarantee the safety of visitors in most parts of the country. There have been repeated attacks on Central African and expatriate travelers in the countryside. Attacks in past months have occurred as close as 70 kilometers from Bangui. Poachers and armed men also pose a threat to game hunters in northern and eastern CAR. The Lord’s Resistance Army poses a similar threat to hunters in eastern CAR.” On Wednesday, the U.N. ordered more than 200 non-essential staff and families of other workers to leave. “The temporary relocation is a precautionary measure to reduce our presence in the event the security situation further deteriorates in Bangui,” UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said. He added that the rebels’ “contradictory messages and their continued military offensive seem to indicate that they might be intent on taking Bangui.

 The new generation of rebels, known as Seleka, have emerged to try to seize power from current president General Francois Bozize. Seleka is accusing Bozize of failing to honor a 2007 peace deal that stipulated they’d be paid if they laid down their guns. Although the nation acquired its independence from France in 1960, demonstrators attacked the French embassy in Bangui, demanding that their former colonizer assist them in fighting off the rebels’ attacks. French President Francois Hollande deployed troops to protect its embassy, but refuses to get involved with the rebels. “If we have a presence, it’s not to protect a regime, it’s to protect our nationals and our interests and in no way to intervene in the internal business of a country, in this case the Central African Republic,” Hollande said. “Those days are over.”

The Lord’s Resistance Army is led by infamous fugitive warlord Joseph Kony.

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