A rebel pictured in the north-west of the Central African Republic in July 2007
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Central African Republic capital 'tense' as rebels advance

27 December 2012 Last updated at 13:21 GMT

The president of the Central African Republic, Francois Bozize, has appealed to France and the United States for help to stop a rebel advance that is threatening the capital, Bangui.

Earlier, France, the former colonial power, said its small military contingent in the Central African Republic was there to protect French citizens, not the government.

Thomas Fessy reports from Dakar, in Senegal.