Information about Central African Republic
The former French colony of Ubangi-Shari became the Central African Republic upon independence in 1960. After three tumultuous decades of misrule - mostly by military governments - civilian rule was established in 1993 and lasted for one decade. In March, 2003 President Ange-Felix PATASSE was deposed in a military coup led by General Francois BOZIZE, who established a transitional government. Elections held in 2005 affirmed General BOZIZE as president; he was reelected in 2011 in voting widely viewed as flawed. The government still does not fully control the countryside, where pockets of lawlessness persist. The militant group the Lord's Resistance Army continues to destabilize southeastern Central African Republic, and several rebel groups joined together in early December 2012 to launch a series of attacks that left them in control of numerous towns in the northern and central parts of the country. The rebels - who are unhappy with BOZIZE's government - participated in peace talks in early January 2013 which resulted in a coalition government including the rebellion's leadership. In March 2013, the coalition government dissolved, rebels seized the capital, and President BOZIZE fled the country. Rebel leader Michel DJOTODIA assumed the presidency, reappointed Nicolas TIANGAYE as Prime Minister, and established a transitional government on 31 March. On 13 April 2013, the National Transitional Council affirmed DJOTODIA as President.
Central African Republic's economy
Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry and mining, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with about 60% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates more than half of GDP. Timber and diamonds account for most export earnings, followed by cotton. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR's landlocked position, a poor transportation system, a largely unskilled work force, and a legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies. Factional fighting between the government and its opponents remains a drag on economic revitalization. Since 2009 the IMF has worked closely with the government to institute reforms that have resulted in some improvement in budget transparency, but other problems remain. The government's additional spending in the run-up to the election in 2011 worsened CAR's fiscal situation. Distribution of income is extraordinarily unequal. Grants from France and the international community can only partially meet humanitarian needs. In 2012 the World Bank approved $125 million in funding for transport infrastructure and regional trade, focused on the route between CAR's capital and the port of Douala in Cameroon. After a two year lag in donor support, the IMF's first review of CAR's extended credit facility for 2012-15 praised improvements in revenue collection but warned of weak management of spending.
Issues in Central African Republic
periodic skirmishes over water and grazing rights among related pastoral populations along the border with southern Sudan persist
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin):
10,992 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2013)
551,600 (clashes between army and rebel groups since 2005; tensions between ethnic groups) (2014)
Trafficking in persons:
Central African Republic (CAR) is a source and destination country for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking and possibly women subjected to forced prostitution; most victims appear to be CAR citizens exploited within the country, and that a smaller number are transported back and forth between the CAR and Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and South Sudan; children are forced into domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, agricultural labor, mining, and street vending; armed groups operating in the CAR, including the Lord's Resistance Army, continue to recruit and use children for military activities, while village self-defense units use children as combatants, lookouts, and porters
Tier 3 - Central African Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government does not investigate or prosecute any suspected cases of human trafficking, including the use of child soldiers; the government also fails to identify, provide protection to, or refer to service providers any trafficking victims; in collaboration with an NGO, the government has convened a working group to develop a national action plan to combat human trafficking (2013)