Resurgence of rebel activity in north under new Seleka coalition early Dec threatened Bozizé regime. Rebels made swift gains in north and east: 11 Dec captured Ndele town, 18 Dec seized central mining town Bria, 29 Dec seized Sibut, 114 miles from capital Bangui; rebels currently control approximately a third of country. Estimated 400 Chadian soldiers deployed 18 Dec in Sibut and Damara cities to contain rebels, prevent fall of Bangui. Rebels 26 Dec called on troops to stand down, said did not intend to march on capital, but later warned they may enter Bangui, despite 28 Dec agreeing to talks with govt starting early Jan. Regional presidents 21 Dec met with President Bozizé, called for deployment of regional peacekeepers, negotiations under aegis of regional organisation (ECCAS); ECCAS 29 Dec announced deployment of additional troops. AU chair Boni set to discuss crisis with Bozizé end-month. UN late month began evacuation of staff, U.S. evacuated embassy and urged citizens to leave. Bozizé 27 Dec appealed for U.S., French intervention. Hundreds late Dec demonstrated, stoned French embassy, criticised France for failing to intervene; French president Hollande said French military will protect embassy and French citizens, will not interfere in domestic affairs.