Portal:Central African Republic

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The Central African Republic Portal

Flag of the Central African Republic
Coat of Arms of the Central African Republic
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The Central African Republic (CAR; Sango: Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka; French: République centrafricaine  pronounced [ʁepyblik sɑ̃tʁafʁikɛn], or Centrafrique [sɑ̃tʁafʁik]) is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Chad to the north, Sudan to the northeast, South Sudan to the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the south, the Republic of the Congo to the southwest and Cameroon to the west. The CAR covers a land area of about 620,000 square kilometres (240,000 sq mi) and had an estimated population of around 4.6 million . , the CAR is the scene of a civil war, ongoing since 2012.

Most of the CAR consists of Sudano-Guinean savannas, but the country also includes a Sahelo-Sudanian zone in the north and an equatorial forest zone in the south. Two thirds of the country is within the Ubangi River basin (which flows into the Congo), while the remaining third lies in the basin of the Chari, which flows into Lake Chad.

What is today the Central African Republic has been inhabited for millennia; however, the country's current borders were established by France, which ruled the country as a colony starting in the late 19th century. After gaining independence from France in 1960, the Central African Republic was ruled by a series of autocratic leaders, including an abortive attempt at a monarchy; by the 1990s, calls for democracy led to the first multi-party democratic elections in 1993. Ange-Félix Patassé became president, but was later removed by General François Bozizé in the 2003 coup. The Central African Republic Bush War began in 2004 and, despite a peace treaty in 2007 and another in 2011, civil war resumed in 2012.

Despite its significant mineral deposits and other resources, such as uranium reserves, crude oil, gold, diamonds, cobalt, lumber, and hydropower, as well as significant quantities of arable land, the Central African Republic is among the ten poorest countries in the world, with the lowest GDP per capita at purchasing power parity in the world as of 2017. , according to the Human Development Index (HDI), the country had the lowest level of human development, ranking 188th out of 188 countries. It is also estimated to be the unhealthiest country as well as the worst country in which to be young. The Central African Republic is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of Central African States, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and the Non-Aligned Movement. Read more...

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The Central African Republic Bush War began with the rebellion by the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity (UFDR) rebels, led by Michel Detodia, after the current President of the Central African Republic, François Bozizé, seized power in 2003. However, the real fighting began in 2004. The Civil War may be connected to the Darfur conflict in neighbouring Sudan. The CAR government says the rebels are operating from Darfur with the support of the Sudanese authorities. So far, around 10,000 people have been displaced because of the civil unrest.

The UFDR consists of three allies, the Groupe d'action patriotique pour la liberation de Centrafrique (GAPLC), the Mouvement des libérateurs Centrafricains pour la justice (MLCJ), and the Front démocratique Centrafricain (FDC). The group signed a peace agreement with the government in April 2007.

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Barthélemy Boganda (4 April 1910 – 29 March 1959) was the leading nationalist politician of what is now the Central African Republic. Boganda was active prior to his country's independence, during the period when the area, part of French Equatorial Africa, was administered by France under the name of Oubangui-Chari. He served as the first Prime Minister of the Central African Republic autonomous territory.

Boganda was born into a family of subsistence farmers, and was adopted and educated by Roman Catholic Church missionaries. In 1938, he was ordained as the first Roman Catholic priest from Oubangui-Chari. During World War II, Boganda served in a number of missions and after was persuaded by the Bishop of Bangui to enter politics. In 1946, he became the first Oubanguian elected to the French National Assembly, where he maintained a political platform against racism and the colonial regime. He then returned to Oubangui-Chari to form a grassroots movement in opposition of French colonialism. The movement led to the foundation of the Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa (MESAN), and became popular among villagers and the working class. Boganda's reputation was damaged when he was laicized from the priesthood after marrying a parliamentary secretary. (Read more...)

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