Portal:Central African Republic

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The Central African Republic Portal

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Flag of the Central African Republic
Coat of Arms of the Central African Republic
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The Central African Republic (CAR) (French: République centrafricaine, pronounced [ʀepyblik sɑ̃tʀafʀikɛn], or Centrafrique [sɑ̃tʀafʀik]; Sango Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka), is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It borders Chad in the north, Sudan in the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo in the south, and Cameroon in the west. The CAR covers a land area of almost 623,000 km², and has an estimated population of about 4.4 million as per 2008. Bangui is the capital city.

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

Since most of the territory locates in the Ubangi and Shari river basins, France called the colony it carved out in this region Ubangi-Chari, or Oubangui-Chari in French. It became a semi-autonomous territory of the French Community in 1958 and then an independent nation on 13 August 1960. For over three decades after independence, the CAR was ruled by presidents who were not chosen in multi-party democratic elections or took power by force. Local discontent with this system was eventually reinforced by international pressure, following the end of the Cold War.

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Birao burnt down.jpg

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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Ubangi river near Bangui.jpg
Credit: Pete Chirico

Ubangi River at the outskirts of Bangui, Central African Republic.

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Wikinews Central African Republic portal
  • March 7: Polio vaccination campaign targets 85 million African children
  • January 19: Seven dead, one missing, two survive French helicopter crash off Gabon coast
  • November 9: "Darfur a powder keg" says UN Head of Humanitarian Affairs

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Francois Bozize headshot.jpg

François Bozizé Yangouvonda (born October 14, 1946) was the President of the Central African Republic from 2003 to 2013. He came to power in March 2003 after leading a rebellion against President Ange-Félix Patassé and ushered in a transitional period of government. He won the country's 2005 presidential election; he received the most votes in the first round in March 2005, but less than a majority, requiring a runoff election, which he won in May 2005.

Bozizé was born in Gabon, a member of the Gbaya people, and attended a military officers' training college in the Central African province of Bouar. He became a second lieutenant in 1969 and a captain in 1975. He was appointed Brigadier General by Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa in 1978, after he beat a French noncommissioned officer who had disrespected the president. With General Josyhat Mayomokala, Bozizé ordered military personnel to attack young demonstrators who were asking for their parents' arrears. After Bokassa was ousted by David Dacko in 1979, Bozizé was appointed Minister of Defense. (Read more...)

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