U.S. suspends embassy operations in rebel-hit Central African Republic

Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:37pm EST
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Thursday it was suspending operations at its embassy in the Central African Republic as rebels appeared poised to move on the capital of the impoverished but resource-rich nation.

U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the U.S. embassy had temporarily suspended operations and that the U.S. ambassador and other embassy personnel had left the country.

"This decision is solely due to concerns about the security of our personnel and has no relation to our continuing and long-standing diplomatic relations with the CAR," Ventrell said in a statement.

(Reporting By Andrew Quinn; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Residents of Central African Republic participate in a marching protest along the streets of the capital Bangui, December 21, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer