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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.