UN Council to hold emergency Central Africa talks

The UN Security Council will hold emergency consultations Monday on the crisis in the Central African Republic after rebels seized the capital, diplomats said.

The 15-nation body is expected to release a statement calling for a return to constitutional government after President Francois Bozize fled the rebel advance on Sunday.

"There is a new president, self-proclaimed in a totally unconstitutional way and the question we are all asking is how to come back to a constitutional situation, how to have elections as quickly as possible," France's UN ambassador Gerard Araud told reporters as he announced the meeting.

"In the coming days we are going to see what we can do to convince the new president to organize elections," Araud added.

Seleka rebel coalition chief Michel Djotodia has named himself the new leader of the Central African Republic. He told Radio France Internationale that he planned to hold "free and transparent" elections within three years.

France, the United States and UN chief Ban Ki-moon have called on the rebels to respect a January 11 peace accord which set up a national unity government. So far the prime minister, Nicolas Tiangaye, has been kept in place.