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April 18, 2014

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Witnesses: Rebels flee C. African Republic capital

Updated Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 | 11:02 a.m.

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Witnesses say a convoy of top members from the rebel coalition loyal to Central African Republic's former president has fled the capital under the protection of Chadian peacekeepers.

Peter Bouckaert, emergency director at Human Rights Watch, said he saw the convoy 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Bangui on Sunday. The group included the coalition's head of military intelligence.

The mostly Muslim Seleka coalition brought Michel Djotodia to power in March 2013, but Djotodia's failure to stem violence undermined his administration and resulted in his resignation earlier this month.

The violence has continued, however, with suspected Seleka members being targeted by a Christian militia that rose up in response to Seleka abuses.

Bouckaert said Sunday's departure would mark the most significant exodus of Seleka leaders since Djotodia stepped down.