In the Central African Republic, residents in the capital Bangui took to the streets demanding weapons to defend themselves hours before rebels are reported to have entered the city.
The rebel Seleka coalition is vowing to oust President Francois Bozize whom it accuses of breaking a peace agreement to integrate its fighters into the army.
Many locals have had enough of the fighting:
“The Seleka movement, is not made up of Central African,” said one resident. Seleka typically attracts several nationalities, 80% of Chadians, 20% of Sudanese and a few Central Africans.”
With news that the rebels have resumed hostilities, France, the former colonial power, has sent in troops to secure the country’s main airport.
The recent renewal of fighting has seen the rebels make rapid advances towards the capital.
A rebel spokesman said they had even shot down a government helicopter.But the country which has been hit be a series of rebellions since independence from France in 1960s remains deeply divided.
An urgent UN Security meeting has been called to try to resolve the situation.