The Central African Republic is a Central African republic that is landlocked. It is bounded to the north by Chad, to the northeast by Sudan, to the east by South Sudan, to the south by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo, and to the west by Cameroon. The Central African Republic has a geographic area of around 620,000 square kilometers (240,000 square miles) and a population of approximately 4.7 million people as of 2014.
The CAR is mostly made up of Sudano-Guinean savannas, but it also has a Sahelo-Sudan zone in the north and an equatorial forest zone in the south. The nation is divided into two thirds by the Ubangi River basin (which goes into the Congo), and the other third by the Chari River basin, which flows into Lake Chad.
Although the Central African Republic has been inhabited for millennia, the nation’s current borders were defined by France, who controlled the region as a colony beginning in the late nineteenth century. The Central African Republic was controlled by a series of authoritarian dictators after achieving independence from France in 1960; by the 1990s, aspirations for democracy led to the first multi-party democratic elections in 1993. Ange-Félix Patassé was elected president, but was deposed by General François Bozizé in a coup in 2003. The Central African Republic Bush War began in 2004, and despite peace treaties in 2007 and 2011, warfare erupted between several factions in December 2012, resulting in ethnic and religious cleansing of the Muslim minority and significant population displacement in 2013 and 2014.
Despite having considerable mineral deposits and other resources, such as uranium reserves, crude oil, gold, diamonds, cobalt, timber, and hydropower, as well as large amounts of arable land, the Central African Republic is one of the world’s poorest countries. According to the Human Development Index (HDI), the country ranked 187th out of 188 countries in 2014, with the second lowest level of human development.