The head of the African Union arrived in the Central African Republic Sunday as tensions mounted between the government and rebels there, an official said.
Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi, who chairs the regional body, met with the Central African Republic's president, said Margaret Vogt, a U.N. special representative.
The talks come amid lingering unrest in the inland African nation.
Rebels, angry with the government, have staged attacks in recent days. And the volatile situation has spurred demonstrations in Bangui, the country's capital and largest city.
Government authorities set an 8 p.m. (2 p.m. ET) curfew Sunday, said Josue Binoua, the minister of territorial administration and decentralization.
Rebels and government officials are scheduled to meet early this week for talks in Gabon, on Africa's western coast, Binoua said. He did not specify the date when the discussions would begin.
Amid fears of more violence, officials from various nations take steps to protect their citizens and interests in the Central African Republic.
France deployed 180 troops from Gabon to Bangui overnight to protect French citizens in the Central African Republic's capital, said Col. Thierry Burkhard, a spokesman for France's defense ministry.
U.S. President Barack Obama wrote a letter Saturday to Congress informing them that about 50 U.S. troops were sent to Chad on Thursday "to support the evacuation of U.S. embassy personnel and U.S. citizens from the Central African Republic."
Rebels were reported earlier last week to be about 190 miles from Bangui. But there's been a lull in rebel attacks in recent days.