Sudanese leave as CAR rebels advance

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IOL CAR jan 2 REUTERS Central African Republic soldiers patrol a street in Bangui.

Khartoum - More than 40 Sudanese nationals have been flown out of the Central African Republic, the army said on Wednesday, after a regional bloc sent troops to support the regime against a rebel advance.

The airlift took place on Tuesday, Sudan's army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad told the official SUNA news agency.

He said that “a special plane was provided to evacuate the members of the Sudanese community in CAR after security situations aggravated with rebels approaching to the capital Bangui.”

A number of Yemeni, Egyptian and Chadian citizens also left with the Sudanese, Saad said at a Khartoum airbase after their arrival. The SUNA report did not say how many other nationals joined the evacuation.

With the Seleka rebel coalition threatening to march on the capital, Gabon, Congo-Brazzaville and Cameroon have each pledged 120 troops to join 400 Chadian soldiers already deployed by the multinational African peacekeeping force, FOMAC, to protect the key town of Damara, according to a FOMAC source.

The rebels began their campaign a month ago and have taken several key towns and cities. They have accused Central African Republic leader Francois Bozize of failing to honour a 2007 peace deal.

Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic had already been working together to monitor their border region. - Sapa-AFP

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