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BANGUI, Central African Republic – The mostly Muslim ex-rebels who control Central African Republic are patrolling neighborhoods across the capital, despite an order to return to their barracks.
President Michel Djotodia has formally dissolved the Seleka alliance of rebel groups that brought him to power in a March government overthrow, and they now consider themselves the national army. As scores of French troops arrived to help secure the beleaguered capital, Djotodia had urged the ex-Seleka to get off the streets.
However, their signature spray-painted pickup trucks bounced Sunday over rutted roads around Bangui, particularly in several predominantly Muslim neighborhoods. Half a dozen ex-Seleka sat near a major hospital with rocket-propelled grenades.
The French troops are part of a U.N.-sanctioned military intervention launched last week amid deadly sectarian violence in the former French colony.