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Central African Republic Old History

 

Not much is known about the area that today constitutes the Central African Republic from the time before the arrival of Europeans in the 17th century. The first Europeans came to the area to engage in slave hunting. In the late 19th century, the French began to colonize the area named Oubangui-Chari. In 1960 the country became independent.

  • AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Central African Republic, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

About 10,000 years ago, people who were collectors and hunters migrated into the area that today constitutes the Central African Republic. Archaeological finds of settlements from the younger Stone Age indicate that some of the area's residents had then begun to cultivate their food. In the year 3,500 BC, agriculture with crops including palm oil and bananas had taken root.

Iron handling had been established in the 1000s before Christ through the immigration of Bantu people from present Nigeria and ethnic groups from Sudan.

From the 16th century, Arab slave traders made extensive raids into the area in search of slaves, mostly sold in North Africa and the Middle East. In the 17th century, the far more extensive European slave trade began.
Prisoners of war in local wars were sold to Europeans and brought to North America, the Caribbean and South America to work on plantations in the European colonies. The great demand for slaves in the New World, in turn, led to an increasing number of wars, which were waged primarily to provide Europeans with slaves. This trade went on for more than two centuries. By the middle of the 19th century, the slave trade had emptied large parts of the country of people.

In the late 19th century, the French began to colonize the area, which in the 1910s was named Oubangui-Chari after two large rivers. At the same time, Oubangui-Chari merged with the colony of French Equatorial Africa, made up of today's Gabon, Congo-Brazzaville and Chad.

Old History of Central African Republic

The colonial power gave private trading companies the right to extract raw materials such as timber and minerals in the area. The companies used to a large extent forced labor. About one fifth of the workers died due to the miserable conditions. Several revolts against the merciless exploitation broke out. The rebellion in Congo-Wara in 1928 was the largest rise against colonial empire in Africa before the Second World War. It took three years of bloody fighting and forced movements before the French managed to subdue the rebels.

During the German occupation of France in 1940, General de Gaulle's free French forces took over Oubangui-Chari and set up a headquarters in Bangui.

After World War II, Oubangui-Chari was incorporated in the French Union colony in 1946. Forced labor was banned and Africans were given the right to form political parties. In the 1950s, a domestic independence movement began to take hold. Following pressure from this movement, Oubangui-Chari became an autonomous republic within the French Commonwealth in 1958. At the same time, the name Central African Republic was adopted.

Independence Movement leader Barthélémey Boganda was named head of the new republic. However, he died a year later and was succeeded by the Minister of the Interior and Economy, David Dacko, who in 1960 declared the republic independent and proclaimed himself president.

2015

December

Other rounds of elections are required in the presidential election

The presidential and parliamentary elections are taking place as planned and the election day is reported to be running smoothly throughout the country. Over one million voters are estimated to have voted in the election. Seven days after the election, it is reported that there will be a second round of elections on January 31 between former Prime Minister Faustin Touadéra and Georges Dologuelé. Touadéra, who was head of government under Bozozé, has been nominated as an independent candidate. However, Dologuelé receives the most votes, 24 percent against 19 percent for Touadéra. On January 15, the results of the parliamentary elections will be presented. Only 21 candidates, including three women, receive enough votes to win already in the first round of elections. A second round of elections will be held in 113 constituencies.

The UN extends the sanctions list

On December 22, the UN adds two more names from anti-bakala militias to its sanctions list: Haroun Gaye and Eugene Barret Ngaikosset. Both are accused of trying to undermine the transitional government and for violence against Muslims in the capital.

Kwa Na Kwa supports Dologuélé in the presidential election

Ahead of the December 30 presidential election, Bozizé's Kwa Na Kwa party is backing former Prime Minister Anicet-Georges Dologuélé's candidacy.

Rebels proclaim "new state"

In the middle of the month, Muslim rebels proclaim an autonomous "state", the Republic of Logone, in the northeastern part of the country. One group, the FPRC, which previously belonged to Séléka, say control large parts of the area. It is led by Noureddine Adam, who claims that the region is completely abandoned by the central government, that there are no roads, health care facilities and schools. Adam had a leading role in Séléka when the rebel group entered Bangui in 2013, and he was Minister of Security in the Government of Djotodia. He has been charged with war crimes and is subject to UN sanctions. An expert in the country, Louisa Lombard, tells media that the announcement of Logone is mostly about negotiation tactics to secure influence for the upcoming elections.

93 percent of voters vote yes to a new constitution

After all, on December 13, the referendum is held on a new constitution, with about 93 percent of voters voting their approval. On Election Day, gunfire erupts near Bangui's Muslim Quarter. The fire is answered by Minusca soldiers. Voting may be interrupted several times, to resume a few hours later. At least 20 people are injured. Because of the violence, the election is extended for one day. In most places things are going well, but there are reports, among other things, that Muslim rebels have stopped voting in the north. UN special envoy Parfait Onanga-Anyanga commends voters for going to the polls despite harassment and violence.

November

The Pope visits Bangui

Pope Francis visits Bangui at the end of the month, where he both celebrates Mass in the Catholic Church and visits a mosque. He urges all warring parties to lay down their weapons, and stresses that Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters. Before the visit, Catholic Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga must have been threatened by a group of young men who entered the cathedral in the capital.

Ready for elections in December

Later, it is announced that a referendum on a new constitution will be held on December 13, followed by the presidential and parliamentary elections on December 27.

Continued concern about the election

New violence is reported mainly from Bangui. Only during the weekend around the end of October / November at least three people were killed, 22 injured and a hundred houses were set alight. Thousands of people are forced to flee their homes. Violence has risen since a Muslim group avenges Christian extremists' murder of two young Muslims in the PK-5 area a few days earlier. Residents of PK-5 tell the media that they do not understand why this is happening. President Samba-Panza emphasizes that there must be an end to revenge attacks.

October

New election day is announced

A new election date is set for December 13. President Samba-Panza states that it is important that elections are held before the turn of the year 2015/2016 and emphasizes that the transition board cannot sit forever. 95 percent of voters are said to have registered at the end of the month.

For this Séléka rebels are prevented from reaching Bangui

Groups of former Séléka rebels march towards Bangui, but are prevented by troops from the UN and France from entering the city. Battles erupt near the city of Sibut.

61 dead in new violence

The unrest in Bangui, according to official figures, has claimed at least 61 lives and 300 people have been injured during six days of violence. 40,000 people have fled. One church and several mosques have been damaged and looted. Few Central Africans believe that the election will be held as planned, even if nothing has been said about it officially. However, it is clear that the referendum scheduled for October 4 has not been carried out.

The President wants Minusca's mandate to be extended

Samba-Panza calls on the UN to mandate Minusca to disarm the various militia and rebel groups.

September

The elections are postponed again

Thousands of people gather near the presidential palace and demand that the country's army be re-armed. President Samba-Panza returns home from New York, where she attended the UN General Assembly's Autumn Assembly. In an interview with the British BBC, she says that the elections scheduled for October will be postponed, and accuses former rulers, especially Bozizé, of being behind the recent outbreak of violence.

Miles Group exempts prisoners

Anti-balaka militias attack Bangui prison and release 500 prisoners, many of whom belong to their own ranks.

New battles in Bangui

New fierce fighting breaks out in Bangui at the end of the month. In a few days at least 36 people are killed, many injured and 30,000 people flee the capital. The riots begin after a Muslim man is murdered, and residents of a Muslim area attack with automatic weapons a part of the city where there are mainly Christians. Reports indicate that anti-Balaka militia is also involved in the fighting. The UN and the French force are accused of not intervening to stop them. On September 27, the authorities face a nightly curfew, despite the continuing unrest.

August

No ministers from the transitional government may stand for election

Former Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye and several other ministers announce that they plan to run for office in the upcoming elections. However, at the end of August, the Constitutional Court states that persons who have been members of the transitional government must not stand. Nor can former President Bozizé participate.

UN imposes sanctions on companies for illegal trade in gold and diamonds

The UN is imposing sanctions on the Badica / Kardiam company, which is accused of illegal trade in diamonds and gold and for providing armed groups with weapons. Sanctions also hit a former general of Séléka who is accused of involvement in diamond smuggling and two leaders of anti-Balaka who are suspected of serious abuse.

The Minusca boss gets to go

UN chief Ban Ki-Moon dismisses Minusca chief after new revelations about child sexual abuse by UN soldiers.

The Security Council requires refugees to vote

The UN Security Council calls for the 400,000 people who fled to neighboring countries during the worst battles to be allowed to vote in the upcoming elections. About 85 percent of them are Muslims who were forced to leave their homes. Up to the beginning of August, about 478,000 people were registered in the voting lists, but none of those who fled abroad.

June

New allegations of sexual abuse are being targeted at UN soldiers

New allegations of child sexual abuse are being targeted at UN soldiers in the country.

The elections are postponed until the autumn

The Transitional Council declares that presidential and parliamentary elections are postponed until October 18. The elections will be preceded by a referendum on a new constitution on October 4.

May

The UN appeals for support for CAR

The UN appeals to the outside world for increased support for the country. Of the € 550 million that the UN believes is needed, only € 76 million has been received.

A reconciliation meeting leads to peace agreements

A week-long reconciliation meeting with government representatives, various militia groups, religious groups and other sections of civil society will start in Bangui in early May. However, all "Séléka" factions have chosen not to attend the meeting. Of the ten militia groups participating in the meeting, all but one agree to lay down their weapons. Some of the militiamen are to be included in the government army, with the help of the UN. The agreement also recommends that the mandate of the sitting transitional government be extended and that the election be postponed so that proper preparation can be made. However, several observers say they are doubtful whether the agreement can lead to a lasting peace, partly because parts of Séléka were not present and that the anti-Balaka leaders who participated represent only about half of these militia groups. It is also uncertain whether the outside world is prepared to pay for the disarmament process that it is currently planning. A number of important issues remain, such as how victims of violence should be compensated and what status migrants, who have long lived in the country, should have.

Settlement of child soldiers

According to the UN Children's Fund Unicef, the government and the country's armed groups agree that all child soldiers in their ranks should be released. There are an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 child soldiers in the country.

Clear court sign. Amnesty critical

The National Transitional Council approves a law that paves the way for the establishment of a special court to address cases involving the many abuses committed in the country during the conflict. Amnesty International criticizes the law because it makes exceptions for the incumbent president and her representatives on the post.

UN official shut down

A Swedish, high-ranking UN official is suspended after submitting a secret stamped report to French prosecutors. In the internal report, French soldiers are accused of having sexually assaulted children. Later, he is completely cleared of any suspicion of having committed any wrongdoing and an independent panel strongly criticizes the UN for not acting against the soldiers or intervening to protect the children.

April

Bozizé and Djotodia sign peace agreements

The two former Presidents Bozizé and Djotodia sign a peace agreement in Nairobi. However, this is dismissed by the sitting transitional government.

March

Eufor-RCA is leaving

The European peacekeeping force EUFOR-RCA leaves the Central African Republic after less than a year in the country. General Philipe Ponties, who led the force, says it has largely accomplished its mission; to secure the airport and parts of Bangui, and to help establish a UN force. However, several political analysts believe that Eufor is leaving too soon.

February

Preliminary election dates are presented

A preliminary date for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections is set for July and August 2015. However, the violence prevents the ANE electoral authority from building new offices in a number of locations in the country. Some candidates in the election question whether it is possible to hold elections as long as the violence continues, while others believe that it is impossible to wait for all the fighting to ebb out. There is also no money to finance the election and registration of voters is slow.

January

Rebel groups sign peace agreements

Representatives of the anti-Balaka militias and the former Séléka movement sign a peace agreement after negotiations in Kenya, but the government is not represented and the settlement is met with strong skepticism.

 
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