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State

Capital

Central African Republic

Bangui

Currency unit

CFA franc

Connections

Chad

 Central

 Congo

 Sudan

 War

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

History

Early history is obscure because of lack of records. The area may have been part of the empire of Gaoga in 16th century. The country has been the victim of slave raiding and when the French arrived in 1889 the population was much less than it had been at its peak.

During the colonial period it was known as Oubangi-Chiari from two rivers in the country.

It was mismanaged by France in the early years with forced labor and concessionaire companies. It became independent in 1960 under Barthelemy Boganda, but he soon died in a plane crash and was succeeded by David Dacko. (Was Boganda eliminated by the French because he showed signs of independence?) Dacko was overthrown by Jean-Bedel Bokassa in 1966. Dacko's government was very corrupt and was alleged to serve mainly French interests.

Jean-Bedel Bokassa was one of the three notorious African tyrants of the 1970s (the others being Idi Amin of Uganda and Macias Nguema of Equatorial Guinea).

Bokassa, a former French colonial soldier who had served in Vietnam, admired Napoleon and in 1975 had himself crowned Emperor (with much of the ceremony allegedly being paid for by the French government out of the "aid" budget). He was suspected of bribing the current French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing with diamonds, the main currency earning export.

He was deposed (presumably by the French) in 1979 after his soldiers had massacred 100 school students who were on strike. He was found to have practiced cannibalism and many other violations of human rights.

The country is typical of those territories put together by the Berlin Conference on Africa, with few features compelling its existence as a state. Most of the country is Savannah with rain forest in the south.

In November 2006 there are reports that the wars in neighboring Chad and Sudan (Darfur) are spreading into the country. If true this will make the country even less stable. In fact it is well on the way to becoming a failed state, with the government unable to control the killers roaming the countryside and massacring people.

Languages

 History

 Economics

 Green

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Politics

Bokassa was replaced with David Dacko, the previous ruler, and then on his death in 1981, Andre Kolingba the army leader became president. There is no evidence of any popular support and the regime can be regarded as a continuation of the colonial regime, as it is still supported by French troops. He lost the 1993 election and was deposed by the French when he refused to go.

Bokassa was released from prison and died.

President Ange Felix Patasse is said to have had close ties with Libya of the late Muammar Gaddafi.

The most recent president came to power in a military coup and was deposed in March 2013.

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

Economics

Although there is a diamond mine there has been little development of roads and schools.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

Green/Ecology

Unsustainable logging in the rain forest is a problem in common with Congo and Gabon.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

Human Rights

None

Last revised 1/04/13


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