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Central African Republic

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The flag of the Central African Republic and the coat of arms are featured above.

This landlocked region has been inhabited for thousands of years. Its present boundaries, however, were established by France in the colonial era. As of this writing in 2019, the region has been in civil war since 2012.

European Colonial Era …

The European colonization was neither consistent nor steady, but rather lurched about between languages and philosophies and requirements.

Ubangi-Shari was the name given to this region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Ubangi and the Shari are two major rivers running through the land along which early colonies were founded. Europeans arrived in this inland region during the Scramble for Africa.1 Germans and Belgians competed for territory in the same region. A 1911 treaty between France and Germany seceded a portion to Germany while Germany seceded a portion of Chad to France. Following WW1, France gained control again. France then modeled policies after those of King Leopold which would cause havoc in Rwanda years later.

The Kongo-wara rebellion, the war of the hoe handle, broke out in 1928 and continued for several years. t was a local rebellion against the French administration and their heavy handed methods, The rebellion was concealed by the authroities from the French populace as it was contrary to the narrative of the happy colnials under French administration.

In September 1940, the region was taken over by free French. Folllowing WW2, in 1946, the first representative in French government for the Central African Republic was elected, Barthélemy Boganda. He became disillusioned with French politics and returned to the Central African Republic and founded MESAN, Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa, which became the dominant political party in the early years of independence.

Era since Independence …

Independence from France was gained in 1960.

Autocratic rulers have dominated politics from independence into the 21st century.

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Footnotes

  1. “France seized and colonized” the region in 1894 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_African_Republic