UFDR rebels seize second town in Central Africa Republic

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Monday, November 13, 2006

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Rebels known as the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity (UDFU) or the UFDR with its French initials in the Central African Republic (CAR) claim to have taken over another town in the CAR after a two-week long offensive.

The rebels told a BBC reporter via satellite telephone that they had captured Ouadda-Djalle, an isolated settlement 200 km west of the border with Sudan.

A government spokesman has only confirmed the rebels' activity but so far, not the seizure of the town. The government claims that Ouadda-Djalle still remains in the army's hands.

The UFDR claims their reasons for rebelling are to fight against corruption and mismanagement under CAR President Francois Bozize's handling, who seized power in a 2003 coup.

The first town to fall into the hands of the UFDR was Birao, which was captured in October. Both towns claimed by the rebels are near eastern Chad and Sudan's western Darfur region.

The CAR government believes that the rebels are being supported by Sudanese authorities and are operating from Darfur. Sudan has denied this, though.

The French military has been requested to come and stop the rebellion from getting out of control.

"We captured this town in the early hours of the morning this Friday after [a] fierce battle with the regular army," Abakar Saboune, one of the rebels said.

Saboune also said twenty government troops were killed in the seizure, and twelve more were taken prisoner. The rebels only lost three people, and another two were wounded.

The UFDR's forces, currently located 750 km north of the Bangui, are thought to be ready to capture another two towns.

The rebels requested that a national conference be held to discuss the matter of sharing power, but the government has, at this point, not responded.

Sources

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