The United States has suspended embassy operations in the Central African Republic's capital, Bangui, because of concerns about the security of its personnel amid a rebel uprising, the State Department announced Friday.
Ambassador Lawrence D. Wohlers and his diplomatic staff left Bangui on Friday with several private U.S. citizens, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said, adding that diplomatic relations with the have not been suspended.
Americans also are advised not to travel to the Central African Republic at this time, as a result of the deteriorating security situation.
According to a Dec. 28 travel warning: "U.S. citizens who have decided to stay in CAR should review their personal security situation and seriously consider departing, taking advantage of commercial flights."
Since early December, a coalition of rebels has pushed its way to the capital but has paused for peace talks, according to Reuters.
In October 2011, President Obama authorized the deployment of up to 100 special forces to Central Africa to help local forces defeat the Lords Resistance Army, a rebel group led by warlord Joseph Kony.
U.S. forces deployed in the region December 2011.
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Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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