Political unrest, coups, civil war, corruption
and mismanagement have made the Central African Republic
one of Africa's poorest countries, despite rich assets
on diamonds, gold and uranium, among others. The latest
wave of violence in the country was triggered in 2012
when a Muslim-dominated rebel group took power in the
country for a short period. Since then elections have
been held and several peace agreements have been
concluded, but unrest has continued to flare up, despite
the fact that the UN has troops in the country.
Brief profiles of Central African Republic, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
The Central African Republic is in the middle
of Africa and is almost one and a half times the size of
Sweden. Tropical rainforest covers the southern part of
the country. Further north, the landscape is
characterized by savanna.
Almost the entire Central African Republic consists
of highlands at a height of 600–900 meters above sea
level. The upland serves as a water divider between
several water systems. The water collected in the
northern part flows down as rivers in neighboring Chad
and further into Lake Chad, while the water on the
southern side of the highlands flows into the Ubangi (Oubangi)
border river, which in turn connects to the large Congo
river in Congo-Kinshasa.
There are two higher mountain areas, the Bongo massif
in the northeast and the Karré mountains in the west.
The latter are the highest and reach just over 1,400
meters above sea level.
In the Central African Republic, there is a tropical
climate where the year is divided into a pronounced dry
period and a rainy season.
During the dry season from November to March, the
rainfall is scarce and it can get very hot. The rainy
season between March and November brings some cooler
air. In the forest areas in the south, the rain can be
heavy and in the south-east large areas are under water.
It is the coolest in July and August.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
622 984 km2 (2018)
Adjacent country (s)
Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, Congo-Kinshasa,
Capital with number of residents
Bangui 794,000 (Estimated 2015)
Other major cities
Bimbo, Berbérati 1
Mount Ngaoui in the Karréberg Mountains (1,420 m)
Bangui 226 mm (July), 5 mm (Dec)
Bangui 32 °C (Jan), 21 °C (July)
- Carnot, Bambari and Bouar
2. according to some sources 1,410 mSources
New violence in the north
The Central African government's attempt to exert some control in the
northern part of the country immediately suffered a serious setback. Already
during the installation ceremony for Colonel Augustin Tombou, the new prefect of
the city of Kaga-Bandoro, violence rises. His residence is partially destroyed
and the government building burned down and Tombou himself is forced to flee to
a safe place. At the same time, reports that at least seven people were killed
in conflicts between two groups in the Muslim-dominated district of PK5 in
Relief workers are killed in the north
Several aid organizations are temporarily suspending their work in the
Central African Republic after a relief worker, who worked for an Italian NGO,
was killed in the northern part of the country. Reports also say that about 10
people were killed in fighting between former Sélékarebeller and anti-Balaka
groups near the city of Ippy. According to the UN organization Ocha, at least 14
relief workers have been killed in the country since the beginning of the year.
UN force is increased by 900 men
The UN Security Council decides to increase the peacekeeping force of Minusca
by 900 men, which after it consists of 11 650 men. This has happened since UN
Secretary-General António Guterres warned of ethnic cleansing in the country.
The threat of violence has also increased since the Ugandan force, which with
American support fought the Lord's Liberation Army (LRA), has been withdrawn.
The UN also promises measures to prevent UN soldiers from committing sexual
abuse. Among other things, Guterres demands that all allegations of rape be
reported to the Security Council.
The UN is investigating the peace force
The UN launches an independent investigation into Minusca soldiers' response
to the outbreak of violence in Haute - Kotto, Basse-Kotto, Mbomou and
Haut-Mbomou between May and August 2017. These include incidents where civilians
were killed despite UN soldiers being in the vicinity. In May, six UN soldiers
and 66 civilians were sought for protection in a mosque, which Minusca had
previously guarded. Among the victims were the mosque's imam. Another incident
that is being investigated is when three Moroccan UN soldiers were killed in the
predominantly Christian city of Bangassou. Anti-Balaka groups are suspected to
be behind the act.
Seven dead in attacks in Bangui
At least four people are killed and about 20 injured when grenades are thrown
into a cafe in Bangui during a concert with singer Ozaguin. Later, three more
people were killed in a revenge attack, according to a UN spokesman for Minusca.
BBC: UN released suspected war criminals
Two rebels from the Muslim militia UPC accused of shooting and injuring a UN
soldier were released in 2015 despite being counted as a violation of the laws
of war. It reveals the British BBC as seen in secret documents. The UN chose to
hand over the men to their commander so as not to interfere with the electoral
process that was going on then, according to the BBC.
Visas abolished between neighboring countries
The members of Cemac (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial
Guinea, Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville) announce that the internal visa-free
agreement has now been ratified by all member states and will therefore be
implemented. The agreement has been missing for 15 years through negotiations.
The process has dragged on the time when the oil countries of Gabon and
Equatorial Guinea were worried about being flooded by job seekers from
neighboring countries. Now, however, these countries have also ratified the
UNHCR: A quarter of the population has been forced to flee
A quarter of Central African Republic residents, or 1.1 million people, are
on the run, according to UNHCR data. But the number may in fact be even higher,
says a UNHCR spokesman. This is about 600,000 internally displaced persons and
just over 500,000 people who have moved to neighboring countries.
New information on UN abuse
Shortcomings in the UN's handling of reports against Minusca soldiers
suspected of sexual abuse are being re-emphasized. According to documents leaked
to the Code Blue organization, which works to put UN troops in charge of abuses,
ten of 14 cases have only been handled by UN personnel, although it is the
soldiers' homelands that bear the legal responsibility. In eight of the 14
cases, no testimony was taken from the children who should have been abused. The
reports concern soldiers from nine countries: Pakistan, Zambia,
Congo-Brazzaville, Burundi, Morocco, Egypt, Cameroon, Gabon and Niger. The UN
says that this should be investigated.
The Minister of Defense is allowed to go
President Touadéra dismisses Secretary of Defense Levy Yakete, who got the
post despite being subject to UN sanctions for his role in the civil war in
2013. It is happening at the same time as the violence continues to escalate. On
the same day, reports that fighting in different parts of the country will
require at least 25 lives.
The UN warns against genocide
At least 60 people are reported to have been killed in a short time in
fighting between Christian and Muslim militias in various areas of the country.
The victims are reported to be six Red Cross workers. The figures are confirmed
by, among other things, the UN and Doctors Without Borders. According to the UN,
the circumstances surrounding the killing show "early signs of a genocide ". UN
agency Oche's chief Stephen O'Brien urges the World Organization to intervene
immediately, "before it's too late".
New violence even in the southeast
Fighting breaks out in Zemio in the country's southeast. Twenty-two people
are killed in clashes between livestock-feeding fulani, believed to have ties to
the Union for Peace in the Central African Union (UPC) formed by former
Sélékarebeller, and militia groups. A further number of people are believed to
have been killed since their house caught fire.
New battles despite ceasefire agreement
At least 100 people are killed in fighting in the city of Bria in the
northeast. The fighting between rival rebel factions breaks out despite the
peace agreement and the groups entered into a ceasefire as late as the day
before. This is seen as a sign that the leaders of the groups have only limited
control over their own forces, who are unwilling to give up the opportunity to
earn money from collecting taxes or mining in the areas they control.
UN soldiers are sent home after allegations of abuse
More than 600 UN troops from Congo-Brazzaville are sent home following
allegations of sexual abuse and other irregularities in the Central African
Peace treaty is signed in Rome
The government concludes a peace agreement with 13 of the 14 armed rebel
groups active in the country. In exchange for this, the rebels are offered
political representation on several levels. The parties announce an immediate
ceasefire. The agreement, mediated by the Vatican, is signed in Rome. A group
called 3R, which is active in the Northwest, is expected to sign the agreement
at a later date.
UN: Rapidly rising violence is causing concern
A UN report on the situation in the country says that hundreds of people have
been killed and at least 88,000 forced away from their homes since early May. In
the second half of the month alone, 20,000 have moved into Congo-Kinshasa. A
total of half a million Central Africans are refugees in the country and over
120,000 are in Congo-Kinshasa, according to the UN. The report provides shocking
information about the violence in the country, with rape, murder, torture,
kidnapping and recruitment of child soldiers at a level that, according to UN
staff, can be described as war crimes or even genocide.
Refugee stream to Congo-Kinshasa
Nearly 3,000 people who have escaped unrest in the south-east of the country
have crossed the border into Congo-Kinshasa, the UNHCR reports. In the Bangassou
mining town on the border, Red Cross personnel have found the remains of 115
people killed during several days of militia attacks.
Attack on Muslims in Bangassou
An anti-Balaka militia attacks Muslims in the city of Bangassou on the border
with Congo-Kinshasa. The UN base in the city is also attacked, which causes the
Minusca leadership to send reinforcements. Up to 30 civilian fears have been
killed and aid organizations cannot enter the city, which is partially
controlled by the militia. Hundreds of civilians are reported to have sought
shelter in a mosque.
Attack on UN force
Four UN soldiers are killed in an attack on a column 47 miles east of Bangui.
According to the UN, eight of the attackers were killed in the fighting between
the UN force Minusca and an anti-Balaka militia. A fifth UN soldier, reported
missing, is found dead a few days later.
Uganda withdraws forces
The Ugandan military announces that the country will take back its forces
from the Central African Republic. Uganda's army has, among other things, been
hunting the leader of the Ugandan rebel movement Lord's Liberation Army (LRA)
which is said to have killed thousands of civilians and kidnapped thousands of
children in the Central African Republic. The reason is stated that the LRA no
longer poses a threat to Uganda's security.
The United States extends sanctions
The US is imposing sanctions on two military leaders who are considered to be
responsible for the chaos in the country. The sanctions mean that American
companies and individuals may not do business with those blacklisted.
The UN intervenes against rebels
The UN forces intervene by helicopter to prevent the FPRC militia from
attacking the city of Bambari. A spokesman for the UN force says it is acting to
protect the civilian population that has been caught between the FPRC and the
UPC militia, both breakaway factions from Séléka.
Rebel group is accused of massacre of civilians
An outbreak group from Séléka, the Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC),
is accused by the human rights organization Human Rights Watch of having
murdered some 30 civilians in the city of Bakala in December 2016. 25 of the
victims should have been killed after UPC called them to a meeting in a school.
Earlier in the same autumn, at least 29 other civilians must have been killed in
connection with fighting against another outbreak group from the Séléka People's
Front for the re-birth of the Central African Republic (FPRC), in the same area.