BANGUI (Reuters) - Hundreds of people protested outside the French Embassy in Central African Republic on Wednesday, throwing stones at the building and tearing down the French flag in anger at a rebel advance in the north of the country.
Some protestors accused France of backing the rebels while others demanded French forces in the country help the army fight off the rebel push, a Reuters reporter at the scene said.
A smaller group of protestors, mainly youths linked to the ruling party, gathered outside the U.S. Embassy while cars carrying white passengers were stoned, the reporter said.
Rebels have in recent weeks taken a string of towns in the country’s north, highlighting the fragility of the land-locked nation which has known little but instability since independence from France in 1960.
On Tuesday the rebels, known as the Seleka alliance, took the central town of Kaga Bandoro despite the presence there of troops from neighbouring nations meant to shore up the weak national army.
President Francois Bozize came to power in 2003 after a brief war and has repeatedly relied on foreign interventions to fend off rebellions and the spill-over from conflict in neighbouring Chad and Sudan.
Reporting by Paul-Marin Ngoupana; Writing by David Lewis