More French troops fly to Central African Republic to protect against rebel advance
President Francois Bozize addresses crowds in Bangui, Central African Republic, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. (AP via APTN)
Published Sunday, December 30, 2012 9:48AM EST
BANGUI - As rebels advance in Central African Republic, France has deployed an additional 180 troops to protect its interests.
Col. Thierry Burkhard told The Associated Press Sunday that the reinforcements arrived Sunday from nearby Gabon, bringing the total French military force in the capital, Bangui, to nearly 600. The troops are to protect French residents in the capital, which many fear will be attacked by the rebels.
In another security measure, President Francois Bozize imposed a curfew from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m.
Bozize earlier appealed to France for help against the rebels, but Paris said it would only protect French interests.
The rebels have seized 10 cities in recent weeks.
The African Union is attempting to set up negotiations in Gabon between the Bozize government and the rebels.