The Central African Republic is a country located in the very center of Africa. A small nation, the Central African Republic has struggled through much of its post-Doomsday history but in recent years as communications with other nations has opened up more avenues for trade and economic aid the country is slowly becoming more prosperous.
- 1 History of Central African Republic
- 2 Economy
- 3 International Relations
- 4 Government
- 5 Religion
- 6 Travel
History of Central African Republic
From 1900 to 1958 the Central African Republic was controlled by France and called Ubangi-Shari. Numerous civil rights abuses occurred during this time and a growing call for independence. On December 1st 1958 the Central African Republic was made autonomous territory under Barthelemy Boganda the nations first President who was killed in a mysterious plane crash only days before independence was achieved in 1960. The First official President David Dacko was overthrown in 1965 in a coup by Colonel Jean-Bedel Bokassa, who within ten years would crown himself an empire over the country and committed an number of crimes against his people. David Dackko was restored to the presidency with French aid in 1979 only to be overthrown again in a coup by _____, who was still the leader of the nation on Doomsday
Due to the nation's location in Central Africa it was unaffected by the attacks on Doomsday or the fallout that came after. However, it was severely affected by the economic damage and the loss of contact with France left several thousand troops stationed there in limbo. Doomsday also cut off any possibility of foreign aid to help the population affected by the drought in the region that had began several months before Doomsday and brought a great deal of hardship to the country. During this period of time a small number of Sudanese refugees entered the country due to the civil war, however these people were easily able to settle into the eastern half of the CAR due to its low population density.
Andre Kolingba reputation had been mixed prior to Doomsday but he had generally been considered to be much less brutal then some of his predecessors such as Bokassa. But within months after doomsday he became increasingly paranoid about his position as President. In order to quell the unrest in the Northern part of the the country Kolingba posted troops to "enforce order in the region". His actions however gave credence to opposition arguments that Kolingba was abusing his power as President. It also lead to increased tensions between the North and Southern areas of the country because most of the leaders of the army were of the Yakoma ethnic group, of which Andre Kolingba was a member. The Yakoma was primarily located in The South greatly increasing the regional tensions- and the religious ones, as the Northern Muslims revolted against the Christian rule.
Organization of the Rebellion
By the summer of 1984 the situation deteriorated in the Northern CAR as large numbers of people began to call for an overthrow of the President. Despite his reputation for being more of a corrupt leader then a brutal enforcer the troops stationed in the North were causing much havoc and chaos among the population. Many believed that the disposal of the Kolingba government was the only way to restore order to their areas. Many people were supporters of Ange-Felix Patasse, some were even in favor of creating a new government under him, but Patasse had been sent into exile after a failed coup prior to Doomsday and on September 25th 1983 is believed to have been in either Togo or France, either way he was unreachable. However, a young man named Charles Massi, a former supporter of Patasse became a head figure in the opposition movement and would later become recognized as its leader.
Battle of Bossangoa
The tensions in the Central African Republic exploded on December 19, 1984 when an elderly farmer, angry that his crops were being taken for shipment to the South. angrily shoved a soldier. The Soldier then shot the man instantly killing him. Brutal behavior by Soldiers had become common, but this murderous act was one offence to many and in the nearby city of Bossangoa protests against military abuse began and quickly escalated into all out rebellion. In response the military laid Bossangoa under siege and attempted to massacre its inhabitants. Charles Massi, when hearing of the uprising in Bossangoa personally lead a small army of militiamen and other supporters toward Bossangoa and ambushed the army, The Rebels, though relatively poorly armed, took the army by surprise and faced with battle on two fronts the unit collapsed. the victory vastly increased the support for Massi and inspired other revolts throughout the region. A confident Massi declared the creation of Provisional Government Of the Northern Central African Republic on Christmas Day of 1984 and declared war on the Kolingba controlled South.
The Civil war in the CAR would last for almost six years. Matters were made worse, as both Massi and Kolingba had to also fight against Muslim militias hoping to gain independence; however, in December of 1988, Massi signed an agreement with them ensuring that 50% of his cabinet would be Muslim. With their help, he began to swiftly push back Kolingba's troops. Finally, in October of 1989 rebel forces lead by Massi had reached the capital of Bangui. After a siege of several weeks Bangui fell to the rebel armies. Andre Kolingba was caught while attempting to flee to Zaire and was executed at the scene.
The Aftermath and Reunification
After the end of the civil war Charles Massi became President of the new Government, though challenges to his power still remained. Clashes between the Northern Muslims and Southern Christians caused some of the Christians to immigrate to the Northern areas of Zaire; mostly into the Kisangani Republic. This would later cause the collapse of that nation. However slowly ethnic clashes died out as many people blamed Kolingba for most of the violence and not the Southern half of the country as a whole. Massi began sending expeditions into the eastern part of the country which had broken contact with the rest of the nation during the civil war. The Eastern CAR had a high number of Sudanese refugees and many were reluctant to became part of a new nation. However, Massi was able to convinced the majority of the people of Eastern CAR that joining them would be the best and on March 5th 1988 The Central African Republic was fully united, along with small parts of the Republic of Congo and Zaire. Massi held true to his agreement and did initially ensure that 50% of his cabinet was Muslim. However, in 1992 he dissolved his cabinet and chose to rule without it.
The Task of rebuilding from the damage of the civil war was a near impossible task. The influx of refugees from Sudan, from the Congo, and from Zaire placed a heavy toll on the cities of southern CAR. This rapid migration put considerable pressure on the rural areas surrounding the cities and created resentment among the original population. The Massi Government appeared incapable of finding concrete solutions to these problems and Massi's popularity began to decrease rapidly. Eventually the government began to construct cheap housing in many of the poorer districts, simultaneously creating jobs and housing refugees, but the damage to their reputation was done.
By the late 1990's dissatisfaction with the Massi Government had reached its peak. Government corruption and inadequate distribution of food was causing extreme hardship for the general population. Charles Massi had a tendency to promote his family and friends to key government position's where they often proved ineffective in administration. Presidential power was completely unchecked and none of the government officials were put in their positions through free elections. Without any limits to the presidential term Massi seemed in danger of becoming just another dictator. The issue came to a head in the summer of 1998 when a young group of anti-government protesters stormed the Presidential Residence in Bossangoa and demanded the Massi's resignation. The hostage situation lasted for more than a week and eventually Massi, abandoned by his supporters and low on food agreed to surrender power. Elections were held in the Spring of 1999 and elected Francis Adama, a popular local leader from Ouaka, government appointed but considered a honest and confident leader untouched by the corruption of much of the government.
The for the first decade after reunification the Government focused on trying to maintain the country unity still difficult due to frequent drought and continued inter-ethnic conflicts. However in early 1999 with help from former refugees in the eastern half of the country the Government of CAR was able to make official conflict with the nation of South Sudan, with whom they were able to set up friendly relations. Soon after relations were established with Southern Chad, which is currently CAR's strongest ally.
The return of contact with the outside world brought great improvement to life in the Central African Republic. The opening of new trade routes brought construction materials in to rebuild the lingering damage of the civil war. Pressure was taken off the immediate need for survival as food stuffs were able to be transferred between borders in years where there was a surplus. The Adama Government maintained a large level of popularity and the citizens of the Central African Republic felt a great deal of confidence about the future.
The Years of Prosperity
By the beginning of the 21st the Central African Republic had established itself as a stable nation and fairly successful one. Despite lingering tensions between the Muslims and the Christians, the nation has survived well into the 21st century, making contact with nations throughout Central Africa, as far south as Zaire and as far east as the Ugandan remnants. The years between 2004 and 2013 have been called the "Years of Prosperity", with the official end generally being considered Isiran Civil War and it's repercussions.
However, the onset of the Northern Congo Crisis would eventually affect the CAR too; while the state has not yet intervened in the war, and looks extremely unlikely to, it has renewed tensions between Christians and Muslims which the Adama government has failed to solve as yet.
Northern Congo Crisis
Main Article: Northern Congo Crisis (1983: Doomsday)
Much of CAR's economy is based on agriculture.The crops grown are mostly subsistence as a series of droughts have often put the population in risk of starvation. However, cotton and timber industries have also done very well in recent years. These two items make up much of the Republic's export's to its neighbors. Diamond mining has the potential of becoming a very lucrative business but the nation's infrastructure is too underdeveloped to operate a large number of mines.
The CAR has relations with several of its neighbors, including Sudan, South Chad, Isiro, and several others. The Republic has maintained a distance from the nations of Cameroon, especially the Islamic Republic of Cameroon, which is looked at with suspicion by much of the population. Due to their ethnic connections with the people of Southern Chad and the Sudanese refugees living in the Eastern half of the CAR have formed a valuable go between with South Sudan, though some of them have returned to South Sudan since the end of the war.
The Central African Republic is a Presidential Democracy with a President as head of state and a single governing body of elected representatives. The President is the head of the government and serves a five year term before each election. Their is no limit to the number of terms a president can serve which has served as a point of worry for some who believe this could lead to another dictatorship. Francis Adama is the current president and has been re-elected by a huge majority in the elections of 2004, 2009, 2013. No Judicial system has been established on a federal level and justice is administered locally, making punishment for crimes vastly different depending on location and the traditions of the people living there.
There are two political parties- the Socialist Front, which is mainly supported in the South and East, and the Liberals, which are in power and are supported in the West and North.
Christianity is the majority religion in the Central African Republic, more than 80% of the population considers this their main spiritual belief. Much of the rest of the population is Muslim, who face some discrimination due to fear of radicalization and the possibility of their connections with the Islamic Republic of Cameroon.
The roadways of the Central African Republic had been a mess before Doomsday and now have all but completely fallen apart. Ironically, roads in the Eastern half of the Central African Republic are better constructed and mostly paved due to aid from South Sudan. For the time being dirt paths have been constructed to allow better mobility in many areas and in rural area's especially horses and other large animals are generally used as transportation.