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Central African Republic rebels detain five lawmakers, make threats

Central African Republic rebels are threatening to take up arms if the government doesn't meet their demands.

Central african republic rebels advance 12282012Enlarge
A Central African Republic soldier protects a women's march in Bangui on December 28, 2012. Since then, things have only grown worse. (SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images)

Rebels in the Central African Republic have detained five government ministers, Reuters reported. They are threatening to break a January ceasefire unless their demands are met. The rebels, from the Seleka rebel military, want all political prisoners to be released. They also want the 400 South African troops sent in by President Francois Bozize to depart.

"We are giving the government 72 hours to respond to these demands, failing which Seleka will resume hostilities," Rebel Colonel Djouma Narkoyo told Agence France Presse

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The United States agrees that Bozize hasn't kept his promise. Under the ceasefire, which was signed to end a rebel insurgency, Bozize had agreed to free all political prisoners arrested during the conflict. "We call on President Bozize and the leadership of the Seleka alliance to cease hostilities immediately, and implement the provisions of the Libreville Agreement," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement to UPI.

Rebels already seized control of two towns last week, the Associated Press reported