As 2013 began, the fate of Central African Rebublic's capital, Bangui, a city of 700,000 people, remained unclear.
Government forces, with support from a regional multinational force, held a line in Damara, just 75 kilometers (45 miles) from Bangui. The rebels hold the city of Sibut, about 185 kilometers (115 miles) from Bangui.
Although President Francois Bozize, after nearly a decade in power, has proposed a coalition government with the rebels, a spokesman for the alliance of rebels advancing through the country said Monday they do not trust his offer. Former colonial power France already has said it will not protect Bozize's regime and has about 600 troops in the country just to protect its own interests.