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Central African Republic

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Central African Republic

Flag of Central African Republic

Official languages

622.984 km²
Semi-presidential republic
1.378.904 (2016)
Christiantity (70%), Islam (15%)
Time zone
Demonym Central African
Preceded by
Succeeded by

The Central African Republic (CAR), sometimes Central-Africa, is a country in the middle of Africa, bordering Chad, Sudan South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo and Cameroon. The capital is the city of Bangui.

On August 13, 1960, the Central African Republic independent of France, after they had become autonomous two years earlier. More than 30 years the country was ruled by Presidents who got power by force in hands or derived their power to fraudulent elections. The first democratic elections were held in 1993, after which Ange-Félix Patassé became president. Patassé, however, was deposed by General François Bozizé in 2003. Bozizé won the democratic elections in 2005 and was president until early 2013 until it, in turn, was deposed after a coup.

The Central African Republic is one of the world's poorest countries. Since the end of 2012, there is a civil war. Christians and Muslims live there at odds with each other. France has 1,600 soldiers sent to the land, which from Cameroon have to try to restore peace.

Among the peoples are the Aka pygmies.

History[edit | edit source]

Refugees in Central African Republic

The first Europeans arrived around the end of the 19th century, during the race to Africa, in the area of the Central African Republic. The French had already settlements in Congo-Brazzaville and sent expeditions to the Interior of Central Africa to colonize. Also, the Belgian King Leopold II, the United Kingdom, and Germany had an interest in the area. In 1889 the French established a settlement on the site of the present capital Bangui. Later, the borders of French Africa laid down in agreements with Belgium and Germany. The end of the 19th century the area was the scene of Arab slave trade towards Zanzibar.

In 1899 were 17 companies were allowed by the French Government to large areas in Central Africa to exploit. The companies floated by European trade goods to sell and native goods to export to Europe. The native population was often with brute force, forced to work for the companies. At the same time, the French Government taxes on the inhabitants and was the provision of labor for the French State.

In the 1920s the French improved the infrastructure and health care. New forms of forced labor were introduced, for example in the construction of the Congo Railway (Pointe-Noire-Brazzaville). Many workers died from disease or exhaustion.

In the 1930s was a lot of cotton, tea, and coffee grown in the Central African Republic. Also, there was gold and diamond mined.

In 1958, the Oubangui-Chari region autonomous within the French colonial empire and she took the name the Central African Republic. On 13 August 1960, the Republic became independent of France. Immediately a power struggle broke out between the potential Presidents Abel Gouma and David Dacko. Dacko seized the power and left Gandan arrest. Two years later David Dacko established a dictatorship.

In 1965 Dacko was overthrown by Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa, who suspended the Constitution and dissolved Parliament. Bokassa proclaimed himself president for life in 1972. Later named himself Emperor Bokassa of the Central African Empire in 1976.

In 1979 France carried out a military operation under the name "Baracuda" against Bokassa, who linked with cannibalism. The former colonizer restored the power of David Dacko. In 1981, Dacko was again deposed by an army officer. General André Kolingba became the new president.

Kolingba ruled with a military junta until 1985. In 1986 he proposed a new Constitution, which was adopted by referendum. However, presidential elections were held in 1987, which were boycotted by Abel Gouma and Ange-Félix Patassé, the main opponents of Kolingba. Kolingba remained president.

In 1990, after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the democratic movement became more active. Under pressure from the United States and France Kolingba gave permission for the holding of free elections. Kolingba was also forced to admit representatives of other parties in the Parliament.

Elections took place in 1993. Patassé was president and his party movement for the liberation of the Central African People MLPC got a small majority in the National Assembly. Patassé also ruled as a dictator: he kills political opponents.

By ethnic tensions, the country was very restless. In 1997 were troops from several African countries under the name MISAB stationed in Central Africa. Later they were replaced by troops of the United Nations, the MINURCA.

In 1998 the parliamentary elections were won by the party of Kolingba, but in 1999 was Patassé re-elected in the presidential elections.

In 2002 François Bozizé committed a coup. He was elected president in 2005 but was in turn deposed in 2013 after a rebellion by Islamic militias, the Seleka. In addition, Michel Djotodia to power. A civil war broke out which degenerated into massacres between Muslims and Christians. As of 2022, this war is still ongoing

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