Portal:Central African Republic

The Central African Republic Portal

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The Central African Republic (CAR; Sango: Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka; French: République centrafricaine (RCA)  pronounced [ʁepyblik sɑ̃tʁafʁikɛn], or Centrafrique [sɑ̃tʁafʁik]) is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Chad to the north, Sudan to the northeast, South Sudan to the southeast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the south, the Republic of the Congo to the southwest and Cameroon to the west. The CAR covers a land area of about 620,000 square kilometres (240,000 sq mi) and had an estimated population of around 4.7 million . , the CAR is the scene of a civil war, ongoing since 2012.

Most of the CAR consists of Sudano-Guinean savannas, but the country also includes a Sahelo-Sudanian zone in the north and an equatorial forest zone in the south. Two-thirds of the country is within the Ubangi River basin (which flows into the Congo), while the remaining third lies in the basin of the Chari, which flows into Lake Chad.

What is today the Central African Republic has been inhabited for millennia; however, the country's current borders were established by France, which ruled the country as a colony starting in the late 19th century. After gaining independence from France in 1960, the Central African Republic was ruled by a series of autocratic leaders, including an abortive attempt at a monarchy; by the 1990s, calls for democracy led to the first multi-party democratic elections in 1993. Ange-Félix Patassé became president, but was later removed by General François Bozizé in the 2003 coup. The Central African Republic Bush War began in 2004 and, despite a peace treaty in 2007 and another in 2011, civil war resumed in 2012, perpetuating the country's poor human rights record, characterized by widespread and increasing abuses by various participating armed groups, such as arbitrary imprisonment, torture and restrictions on freedom of the press and freedom of movement.

Despite its significant mineral deposits and other resources, such as uranium reserves, crude oil, gold, diamonds, cobalt, lumber, and hydropower, as well as significant quantities of arable land, the Central African Republic is among the ten poorest countries in the world, with the lowest GDP per capita at purchasing power parity in the world as of 2017. , according to the Human Development Index (HDI), the country had the second-lowest level of human development (only behind Niger), ranking 188th out of 189 countries, and the country had the lowest inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), ranking 150th out of 150 countries. It is also estimated to be the unhealthiest country as well as the worst country in which to be young. The Central African Republic is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of Central African States, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and the Non-Aligned Movement. (Full article...)

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The Central African Republic, which the United Nations High Commissioner has described as undergoing "the most neglected crisis in the world", has an extremely poor human rights record. It has been designated 'Not Free' by Freedom House from 1972 to 1990, in 2002 and 2003, and from 2014 to the present day. It was rated 'Partly Free' from 1991 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2013. On the United Nations Human Development Index, it ranks 179 out of 187 countries. Between 1988 and 2008, life expectancy decreased from 49 years to 47.7 years.

According to build the U.S. State Department, major human rights abuses occur in the country. These include extrajudicial executions by security forces; the torture, beating and rape of suspects and prisoners; impunity, particularly among the armed forces; harsh and life-threatening conditions in prisons and detention centers; arbitrary arrest and detention, prolonged pretrial detention and denial of fair trials; occasional intimidation and restrictions on the press; restrictions on freedom of movement; official corruption; and restrictions on workers' rights. (Full article...)
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Street scenes in Bangui

Bangui (French pronunciation: ​[bɑ̃ɡi]) (or Bangî in Sango, formerly written Bangi in English) is the capital and largest city of the Central African Republic. it had an estimated population of 734,350. It was established as a French outpost in 1889 and named after its location on the northern bank of the Ubangi River (French: Oubangui); the Ubangi itself was named from the Bobangi word for the "rapids" located beside the settlement, which marked the end of navigable water north from Brazzaville. The majority of the population of the Central African Republic lives in the western parts of the country, in Bangui and the surrounding area.

The city forms an autonomous commune (commune autonome) of the Central African Republic which is surrounded by the Ombella-M'Poko prefecture. With an area of 67 square kilometres (26 sq mi), the commune is the smallest high-level administrative division in the country, but the highest in terms of population. The city consists of eight urban districts (arrondissements), 16 groups (groupements) and 205 neighbourhoods (quartiers). As the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui acts as an administrative, trade, and commercial centre. It is served by the Bangui M'Poko International Airport. The National Assembly, government buildings, banks, foreign enterprises and embassies, hospitals, hotels, main markets and the Ngaragba Central Prison are all located here. Bangui manufactures textiles, food products, beer, shoes and soap. Its Notre-Dame Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bangui. The city is also home to the University of Bangui, inaugurated in 1970. (Full article...)

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Largest Central African Republic cities
Rank City / town Préfecture Population
(2003 census)
1
Bangui N/A 622,771
2
Bimbo Ombella-M'Poko 124,176
3
Berbérati Mambéré-Kadéï 76,918
4
Carnot * Mambéré-Kadéï 45,421
5
Bambari Ouaka 41,356
6
Bouar Nana-Mambéré 40,353
7
Bossangoa Ouham 36,478
8
Bria Haute-Kotto 35,204
9
Bangassou Mbomou 31,553
10
Nola Sangha-Mbaéré 29,181
11
Kaga-Bandoro Nana-Grébizi 24,661
12
Sibut Kémo 22,419
13
Mbaïki Lobaye 22,166
14
Bozoum Ouham-Pendé 20,655

* not the capital of the prefecture

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