Thursday, September 7, 2023

Central African Republic Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Central African Republic

travel guide

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.

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Central African Republic - Info Card




Central African CFA franc (XAF), Bitcoin (BTC)

Time zone



622,984 km2 (240,535 sq mi)

Calling code


Official language

French - Sango

C.A.R - Introduction


In general, the climate is tropical. The northern regions are prone to harmattan winds, which are hot, dry, and dusty. Desertification has occurred in the northern areas, while the northeast is desert. The rest of the nation is vulnerable to floods from neighboring rivers.

The Central African Republic was ranked the nation least impacted by light pollution in the November 2008 edition of National Geographic.


The Central African Republic is a landlocked country in the African continent’s heartland. Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Republic of the Congo border it. The nation is located between the latitudes of 2° and 11°N and the longitudes of 14° and 28°E.

Much of the land is flat or undulating plateau savanna 500 meters (1,640 feet) above sea level. The World Wildlife Fund’s East Sudanian savannaecoregion encompasses the majority of the northern part. There are scattered hills in the southwest areas, in addition to the Fertit Hills in the northeast of the CAR. The Yade Massif, a granite plateau with a height of 348 meters, is located in the northwest (1,143 ft).

The Central African Republic is the world’s 45th-largest nation, with 622,941 square kilometers (240,519 square miles). It is about the size of Ukraine.

A large part of the southern border is created by Congo River tributaries; the Mbomou River in the east combines with the Uele River to form the Ubangi River, which also forms a piece of the southern boundary. The Sangha River runs through parts of the country’s western areas, while the Nile River watershed forms the country’s eastern boundary.


Since independence, the Central African Republic’s population has almost tripled. The population was 1,232,000 in 1960; according to a 2014 UN estimate, it is now about 4,709,000.

According to the United Nations, about 11% of the population aged 15 to 49 is HIV positive. Only 3% of the nation has access to antiretroviral treatment, compared to 17% in neighboring countries Chad and the Republic of the Congo.

The country is split into more than 80 ethnic groups, each with its own language. The Baya, Banda, Mandjia, Sara, Mboum, M’Baka, Yakoma, and Fula or Fulani are the main ethnic groupings, with others including Europeans, primarily of French ancestry.

It is believed that forest covers up to 8% of the nation, with the densest areas usually found in the southern regions. The woods are extremely varied, with economically significant Ayous, Sapelli, and Sipo species among them. Deforestation occurs at a rate of approximately 0.4 percent per year, and lumber poaching is widespread.

In 2008, the Central African Republic has the lowest level of light pollution in the world.

The Bangui Magnetic Anomaly, one of the biggest magnetic anomalies on Earth, is centered in the Central African Republic.


The Dzanga-Sangha National Park is situated in a rain forest in the southwest. The nation is well-known for its forest elephants and western lowland gorillas. The Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park in the north is densely inhabited with animals, including leopards, lions, cheetahs, and rhinos, and the Bamingui-Bangoran National Park in the northeast of CAR. Poachers, especially those from Sudan, have had a significant impact on the parks during the last two decades.


According to the 2003 national census, 80.3 percent of the population is Christian (51.4 percent Protestant and 28.9 percent Roman Catholic), with 15 percent Muslim. Indigenous belief (animism) is practiced as well, and many indigenous beliefs are integrated into Christian and Islamic practice. Religious tensions between Muslims and Christians, according to a UN director, are high.


The Republic’s per capita income is frequently listed as being around $400 per year, one of the lowest in the world, but this figure is based primarily on reported export sales and ignores the unregistered sale of foods, locally produced alcoholic beverages, diamonds, ivory, bushmeat, and traditional medicine. The informal economy of the Central African Republic is more significant to most Central Africans than the official economy. Poor economic growth and the country’s landlocked status impede export commerce.

The Central African Republic’s currency is the CFA franc, which is acknowledged across the former French West African nations and trades at a fixed rate to the Euro. Diamonds are the country’s most significant product, accounting for 40–55 percent of export earnings, although it is believed that between 30 and 50 percent of those produced each year are illegally exported.

The production and sale of food crops such as cassava, peanuts, maize, sorghum, millet, sesame, and plantain dominate agriculture. The yearly real GDP growth rate is somewhat more than 3%. The fact that the total production of cassava, the staple food of most Central Africans, ranges between 200,000 and 300,000 tonnes per year, while cotton, the main exported cash crop, ranges between 25,000 and 45,000 tonnes per year, demonstrates the importance of food crops over exported cash crops. Food crops are not exported in significant numbers, but they remain the country’s main cash crops, since Central Africans earn much more money from the periodic sale of excess food crops than from exported cash crops like cotton or coffee. Much of the nation is self-sufficient in food crops; however, the prevalence of the tsetse fly impedes cattle growth.

The Netherlands is the Republic’s main import partner (19.5 percent ). Other imports come from Cameroon (9.7%), France (9.3%), and South Korea (8.7 percent ). Belgium is its biggest export partner (31.5 percent), followed by China (27.7 percent), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (8.6 percent), Indonesia (5.2%), and France (4.5 percent ).

The Central African Republic is a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA). In the 2009 World Bank Group report Doing Business, it was rated 183rd out of 183 in terms of ‘ease of doing economic,’ a composite score that takes into account laws that promote and those that hinder business activity.

According to the CIA World Factbook, about fifty percent of the population of CAR is Christian (Protestant 25 percent, Roman Catholic 25 percent), while 35 percent follow indigenous beliefs and 15 percent practice Islam.

Lutherans, Baptists, Catholics, Grace Brethren, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are among the missionary organizations active in the nation. While the majority of these missionaries are from the United States, France, Italy, and Spain, there are also many from Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other African nations. When violence erupted between rebel and government troops in 2002–3, a large number of missionaries fled the country, although many have since returned to continue their work.

According to Overseas Development Institute research, religious leaders have mediated between communities and armed groups throughout the conflict that has lasted since 2012. They have also offered sanctuary for individuals in need.

How To Travel To C.A.R

Get In - By air

Bangui M’Poko International Airport is the country’s sole international airport (and the only airport with scheduled flights) (IATA: BGF). There is no airline in Central Africa that provides regional connections or transfers to domestic aircraft. Air France is the sole airline that flies to Europe, traveling to Paris. Ethiopian Airlines has flights to Addis Abeba. Kenya Airways operates a three-city service from Nairobi to Bangui and Douala. Royal Air Maroc operates a three-city service from Casablanca to Douala and Bangui. TAAG Angola Airlines operates two three-city flights linking Luanda, Brazzaville, and Bangui, as well as Luanda, Douala, and Bangui.

Camairco and Interair South Africa (both to Douala) and Toumai Air Chad (to Brazzaville, Cotonou, Douala, Libreville, Lomé, and N’Djamena) are two more carriers that serve Bangui.

Get In - By bus

Bus service is accessible from Cameroon and Chad, although due to the distance and hazardous terrain, such bus journeys are rare. Going by bus, on the other hand, is superior to traveling by 4×4 in terms of safety and convenience of passing through checkpoints.

Get In - By boat

Other African towns and nations may be reached via boats and barges that sail rarely down the Ubangui river. The Ubangui River empties into the Congo River, which may be navigated all the way to Stanley Falls in Kinshasa/Brazzaville. Although sluggish, there are frequent (though unscheduled) barges that go from Bangui to Kinshasa/Brazzaville.

Boats also travel the Bangui River from Bangui to Zongo, DRC, where they link to the DRC’s inadequate and poor road network before continuing on to Uganda/Rwanda/Burundi.

Get In - By 4×4

The Central African Republic is one of Africa’s least developed nations, with a weak road network and virtually non-existent services outside of major cities/towns. The police/military are highly corrupt, and roadblocks (mostly set up for bribes) are common. There are no highways between the Central African Republic and Congo-Brazzaville due to the thick forest. Traveling from Cameroon to Bangui and then on to the Dzanga-Sangha Reserve is generally simple, although bribe checks are frequent.

Local insurgents and ostensibly government-controlled troops represent a significant danger in the country’s northern and eastern regions. Kidnapping and banditry are serious threats in these areas, and traveling in the CAR’s northern or eastern regions (particularly if you intend to drive your own car) should be done only after consulting with local authorities. This covers all routes to and from Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, and crossings into the Democratic Republic of the Congo east of Bangui.

Visa & Passport For C.A.R

Except for Swiss and Israeli nationals, everyone will need a visa.

Visas may be single or multiple entry, although multiple entrance is preferable over single entry. Multiple entrance visas are typically valid for a year, while single entry visas are valid for three months. They are $150 and take two days to complete. If you come from a nation that does not have a CAR embassy (for example, New Zealand), you may apply for a CAR visa at a French consulate/embassy. It is unknown if other nationalities (residents of the United States, France, and so on) may apply at a French consulate. The rules for getting a visa differ across CAR embassies and from month to month. You may apply for a CAR visa at the country’s embassies in Yaounde, N’Djamena, Brazzaville, Kinshasa, and Khartoum. The Central African Republic also maintains embassies in Washington, Paris, and Bonn.

Border crossings with Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (at least east of Bangui) are very dangerous, and any effort to cross them by land is discouraged. There are no land connections between the Central African Republic with Congo-Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo).

Destinations in C.A.R

Cities in Central African Republic

  • Bangui – the capital
  • Bambari
  • Bangassou
  • Birao
  • Bria
  • Mbaiki
  • Nola
  • Sibut

Regions in Central African Republic

Southwest Central African Republic
The country’s population center, home to the capital Bangui and the country’s only national park, Dzanga-Sangha, which still draws daring visitors.

Northwest Central African Republic
Bamingui-Bangoran National Park is located here.

Southeast Central African Republic

Northeast Central African Republic
This is the most hazardous area of the C.A.R., a Sahel desert similar to neighboring Darfur and a large national park, St. Floris.

Things To See in C.A.R

The country’s official museum, the Musée Ethnograhique Barthélémy Boganda in Bangui, contains a good collection of indigenous instruments, weaponry, tools, and exhibits concerning local customs, religion, and architecture.

Prehistoric rock drawings may be discovered in a variety of places, but Bambari has some of the finest.

The “Chutes de Boali,” a day excursion from the city, are a beautiful sequence of waterfalls that are much more spectacular during the rainy season.

Megaliths in concentric rings near the village of Bouar are relics of the CAR’s ancient peoples.

Local markets, like much of Africa, may be a visual feast, with a diverse array of crafts. Simply be cautious, since marketplaces in the CAR are plagued with both petty and violent thievery.

Things To Do in C.A.R

Visits and stays with Pygmy villages are likely the most appealing to the country’s few visitors. Hunting with traditional weapons/devices, collecting medicinal herbs with the village ladies, participating in a night of music and dancing, and much more are all possible activities.

Trek into the rainforest in search of gorillas, secretive forest elephants, chimps, and other primates at the Dzanga Sangha Special Reserve. A visit to the area is often coupled with an overnight stay in a Pygmy hamlet. Dzanga-Ndoki National Park (which consists of two noncontinuous parts: “Dzanga Park” & “Ndoki Park”) flanks Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve on two sides and is part of a larger, tri-national protected area that includes Lobéké National Park in Cameroon and Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in Congo-Brazzaville.

Should the Central African Republic ever be free of war and dysfunctional governance, it might be an attractive ecotourism destination (similar to Gabon). The Bamingui-Bangoran National Park and the Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park are both potential wildlife sanctuaries but are presently located in unstable areas and need infrastructure.

Food & Drinks in C.A.R

Food in Central African Republic

Bangui offers a broad range of cuisines, including Chinese, Lebanese, French, and indigenous fare. Food at restaurants owned by foreigners is extremely costly, with prices ranging from $10 to $20 US per dish (or more). Local cuisine, on the other hand, may be costly depending on the restaurant and its region. There are many French bakeries in Bangui’s central area, with reasonable pricing for baked products and meals. Food in supermarkets is extremely costly, although cheaper food may be found in local markets and from street vendors.

Drinks in Central African Republic

Local beer (“33”, Mocaf, Crystal) and soft drinks (MOCAF is a prominent manufacturer) are priced comparable to those found in Europe and the United States. Wine is accessible at certain French wine stores, although it may be very pricey. Palm wine is widely available. Water is manufactured in Cameroon and the Central African Republic and is available in all local stores. Coca-Cola and Fanta are among the imported beverages offered.

Money & Shopping in C.A.R

Central African Republic uses the Central African CFA franc (XAF). Cameroon, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon also use it. While technically distinct from the Western African CFA franc (XOF), the two currencies are used interchangeably at par in all CFA franc (XAF & XOF)-using nations.

The French treasury backs both CFA francs, which are linked to the euro at 1 euro = 655.957 CFA francs.

Ecobank ATMs are available in Bangui for cash withdrawals using a MasterCard or Visa card.

Prices in Central African Republic

Costs in Central African Republic are expensive for foreigners who want to live a comparable lifestyle to those in their own country. Much of the nation’s trade and products must be flown or transported in, which explains why many items are so expensive. “Local” products brought into CAR from surrounding countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cameroon are somewhat cheaper (rice, beans, water, etc.). Finally, many stores in Bangui and other cities are owned by Lebanese individuals and families, thus there is an abundance of Middle Eastern cuisine brought into the nation, although at a high price.

Culture Of C.A.R

The Central African Republic’s music takes many diverse forms. Western rock and pop music, as well as Afrobeat, soukous, and other genres, have grown in popularity throughout the country. The sanza is a well-known instrument.

Pygmies have a rich folk music heritage. A diverse rhythmic structure, as well as polyphony and counterpoint, are common components. Because of its jazzy structure, the Bandas’ trumpet-based music has acquired considerable appeal beyond the region. The Ngbaka play an unique instrument known as an mbela, which is constructed of an arching branch with a string stretched between the two ends and held in front of the musician’s lips. The mouth is used to enhance and modify the tone when the string is hit. Instruments comparable to the mbela are thought to be the progenitors of all string instruments.

“La Renaissance” is the Central African Republic’s national anthem. This song, which has been the Central African Republic’s anthem since 1960, was written by Barthélémy Boganda (words) and Herbert Pepper, who also wrote the music for the Senegalese national hymn.

History Of C.A.R

Early history

Desertification drove hunter-gatherer cultures south into the Sahel areas of northern Central Africa about 10,000 years ago, when some people settled and started farming as part of the Neolithic Revolution. Farming of white yam was followed by millet and sorghum, and around 3000 BC, the domestication of African oil palm enhanced nutrition and allowed for the growth of local people. This Agricultural Revolution, coupled with a “Fish-stew Revolution” in which fishing started and boats were used, enabled the conveyance of commodities. Products were often transported in clay pots, which are the region’s earliest documented instances of creative expression.

The Bouar Megaliths in the country’s west show a high degree of occupancy going back to the very late Neolithic Era (c. 3500–2700 BC). Around 1000 BC, ironworking came in the area from both Bantu civilizations in what is now Nigeria and the Nile metropolis of Mero, the capital of the Kingdom of Kush.

During the Bantu Migrations, which lasted from around 1000 BC to AD 1000, Ubangian-speaking people spread eastward from Cameroon to Sudan, Bantu-speaking people settled in the CAR’s southwestern regions, and Central Sudanic-speaking people settled along the Ubangi River in what is now Central and East CAR.

Bananas came in the area and provided a significant source of carbohydrates; they were also utilized in the manufacture of alcoholic drinks. The Central African region’s commercial commerce was dominated by the production of copper, salt, dried fish, and textiles.

16th–18th century

Slave merchants started raiding the area in the 16th and 17th centuries as the Saharan and Nile River slave routes expanded. Their victims were enslaved and transported to the Mediterranean coast, Europe, Arabia, the Western Hemisphere, or slave ports and factories along the West and North African coasts, as well as the Ubanqui and Congo rivers in the south. The Bobangi people were prominent slave merchants in the mid-nineteenth century, selling their victims to the Americas through the Ubangi river. Bandia-Nzakara peoples founded the Bangassou Kingdom near the Ubangi River in the 18th century.

French colonial period

The Sudanese monarch Rabih az-Zubayr ruled Upper-Oubangui, which encompassed present-day CAR, in 1875. During the Scramble for Africa, Europeans started to penetrate Central African territory in the late nineteenth century. In 1885, Europeans, mainly French, Germans, and Belgians, came in the region. In 1894, France established the Ubangi-Shari region.

At the Treaty of Fez in 1911, France surrendered approximately 300,000 km2 of the Sangha and Lobaye basins to the German Empire, which ceded a lesser amount (in present-day Chad) to France. Following World War I, France seized the area once again.

French Equatorial Africa was formed in 1920, and Ubangi-Shari was governed from Brazzaville. During the 1920s and 1930s, the French instituted a program of compulsory cotton production, constructed a road network, attempted to fight sleeping sickness, and created Protestant missions to promote Christianity. Forced labor was further expanded, and a significant number of Ubangians were sent to work on the Congo-Ocean Railway. Many of these forced laborers perished as a result of fatigue, sickness, or bad working conditions, which killed between 20% and 25% of the 127,000 employees.

The Kongo-Wara revolt, often known as the “war of the hoe handle,” erupted in Western Ubangi-Shari in 1928 and lasted for many years. The scope of this insurgency, which was perhaps Africa’s greatest anti-colonial revolt during the interwar years, was deliberately concealed from the French people since it demonstrated significant resistance to French colonial authority and forced labor.

During World War II, pro-Gaullist French officers seized control of Ubangi-Shari in September 1940, and General Leclerc established his headquarters for the Free French Forces in Bangui. In 1946, Barthélémy Boganda was elected to the French National Assembly with 9,000 votes, becoming the country’s first representation in the French government. Boganda maintained a political position against racism and the colonial government, but became dissatisfied with the French political system and returned to the Central African Republic (CAR) in 1950 to found the Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa (MESAN).

Since Independence (1960–present)

In the 1957 election for the Ubangi-Shari Territorial Assembly, MESAN received 347,000 votes out of a total of 356,000 votes cast and won every legislative seat, resulting in Boganda being elected president of the Grand Council of French Equatorial Africa and vice-president of the Ubangi-Shari Government Council. Within a year, he proclaimed the Central African Republic’s independence and became the country’s first prime minister. MESAN remained in operation, although its function was restricted. Following Boganda’s death in an aircraft accident on March 29, 1959, his cousin, David Dacko, took over MESAN and became the country’s first president when the CAR officially gained independence from France. Former Prime Minister and Mouvement d’évolution démocratique de l’Afrique centrale (MEDAC) leader Abel Goumba was driven into exile in France by Dacko. Dacko proclaimed MESAN the official party of the state in November 1962, after all opposition parties had been crushed.

Bokassa and the Central African Empire (1965–1979)

Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa overthrew Dacko in the Saint-Sylvestre coup d’état on December 31, 1965, suspending the constitution and dissolving the National Assembly. President Bokassa proclaimed himself President for Life in 1972, and on December 4, 1976, he was crowned Emperor Bokassa I of the Central African Empire (as the nation was called). Emperor Bokassa crowned himself a year later in a grandiose and costly ceremony that was mocked by most of the world.

In April 1979, a group of teenage students opposed Bokassa’s order that all schoolchildren purchase uniforms from a business owned by one of his wives. The demonstrations were brutally repressed by the government, resulting in the deaths of 100 children and adolescents. Some of the murders may have been carried out by Bokassa himself. France deposed Bokassa and “restored” Dacko to power in September 1979. (subsequently restoring the name of the country to the Central African Republic). Dacko, in turn, was deposed in a coup led by General André Kolingba on September 1, 1981.

Central African Republic under Kolingba

Until 1985, Kolingba suspended the constitution and governed under a military junta. In 1986, he proposed a new constitution, which was approved by a national vote. His new party, the Rassemblement Démocratique Centrafricain (RDC), was entirely voluntary. Semi-free elections to parliament were conducted in 1987 and 1988, but Kolingba’s two main political opponents, Abel Goumba and Ange-Félix Patassé, were barred from running.

A pro-democracy movement emerged in 1990, spurred by the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Pressure from the United States, France, and a group of locally represented countries and agencies known as GIBAFOR (France, the United States, Germany, Japan, the European Union, the World Bank, and the United Nations) eventually led Kolingba to agree, in principle, to hold free elections in October 1992 with assistance from the UN Office of Electoral Affairs. After using the pretext of alleged irregularities to suspend election results, President Kolingba came under intense pressure from GIBAFOR to establish a “Conseil National Politique Provisoire de la République” (Provisional National Political Council, CNPPR) and a “Mixed Electoral Commission,” which included representatives from all political parties.

When a second round of elections was eventually conducted in 1993, with the assistance of the international community and organized by GIBAFOR, Ange-Félix Patassé won with 53 percent of the vote, while Goumba received 45.6 percent. Patassé’s party, the Mouvement pour la Libération du Peuple Centrafricain (MLPC) or Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People, won a simple but not absolute majority of seats in parliament, requiring Patassé’s party to form a coalition with other parties.

Patassé Government (1993–2003)

Patassé expelled several Kolingba members from the government, and Kolingba sympathizers accused Patassé’s administration of pursuing a “witch hunt” against the Yakoma. On December 28, 1994, a new constitution was adopted, although it had little effect on the country’s politics. In 1996–1997, three mutinies against Patassé’s administration were followed by extensive property damage and heightened ethnic tensions, reflecting progressively declining public trust in the government’s unpredictable behavior. The Peace Corps moved all of its volunteers to neighboring Cameroon during this critical period (1996). The Peace Corps has yet to return to the Central African Republic. The Bangui Agreements, agreed in January 1997, called for the deployment of an inter-African military force to the Central African Republic, as well as the reintegration of ex-mutineers into the government on April 7, 1997. The inter-African military mission was eventually replaced by a United Nations peacekeeping force (MINURCA).

In 1998, Kolingba’s RDC gained 20 of 109 parliamentary seats, but Patassé won a second term in the presidential election in 1999, despite significant public outrage in metropolitan areas over his corrupt reign.

In a failed coup attempt on May 28, 2001, insurgents seized key facilities in Bangui. The army chief of staff, Abel Abrou, and General François N’Djadder Bedaya were both murdered, but Patassé restored control by sending in at least 300 men from Congolese rebel commander Jean-Pierre Bemba as well as Libyan forces.

Following the failed coup, militias loyal to Patassé sought vengeance on rebels in several Bangui areas, inciting instability and murdering many political opponents. Patassé eventually suspected General François Bozizé of being engaged in another coup attempt against him, prompting Bozizé to escape to Chad with loyal soldiers. Bozizé attempted a surprise assault against Patassé, who was out of the country, in March 2003. Libyan troops and around 1,000 men from Bemba’s Congolese rebel group were unable to halt the rebels, and Bozizé’s forces were able to depose Patassé.

Central African Republic since 2003

François Bozizé suspended the constitution and appointed a new government comprised of the majority of opposition parties. The appointment of Abel Goumba as vice-president boosted the image of Bozizé’s new administration. Bozizé formed a broad-based National Transition Council to write a new constitution and declared his intention to resign and run for office once the new constitution was adopted.

The Central African Republic Bush War started in 2004 when anti-Bozizé groups took up weapons against his administration. Throughout May 2005, Bozizé won a presidential election that excluded Patassé, and combat between the government and the rebels continued in 2006. Bozizé’s administration sought French military assistance in November 2006 to help them resist insurgents who had seized control of cities in the country’s northern provinces. Though the agreement’s first public specifics focused on logistics and intelligence, French support ultimately included attacks by Mirage aircraft on rebel positions.

The Syrte Agreement, signed in February, and the Birao Peace Agreement, signed in April 2007, called for a cessation of hostilities, the billeting of FDPC fighters and their integration with FACA, the release of political prisoners, the integration of the FDPC into government, an amnesty for the UFDR, recognition as a political party, and the integration of its fighters into the national army. Several organizations fought on, but others signed on to the pact or similar accords with the government (e.g. UFR on 15 December 2008). The CPJP, the only significant organization that did not sign an agreement at the time, maintained its operations and signed a peace deal with the government on August 25, 2012.

Bozizé was re-elected in 2011 in an election largely seen as rigged.

Séléka, an alliance of rebel organizations, seized control of cities in the country’s northern and central regions in November 2012. These parties ultimately negotiated a peace agreement with Bozizé’s administration in January 2013, including a power-sharing government, but the agreement fell through, and the rebels took control of the capital in March 2013, forcing Bozizé to flee the country.

Michel Djotodia was elected president, and in May 2013, Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye sought a UN peacekeeping mission from the UN Security Council, and on May 31, former President Bozizé was charged for crimes against humanity and incitement to genocide.

During June–August 2013, the security situation did not improve, and there were reports of over 200,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), as well as human rights violations and fresh violence between Séléka and Bozizé supporters.

French President François Hollande has urged the United Nations Security Council and the African Union to step up efforts to stabilize the nation. The Séléka government was said to be fractured. Djotodia formally dissolved Seleka in September 2013, but many rebels refused to disarm and strayed farther from government authority.

The violence deteriorated towards the end of the year, prompting international concerns of “genocide,” and combat was mostly a result of retaliatory assaults on civilians by Seleka’s mainly Muslim soldiers and Christian militias known as “anti-balaka.”

Michael Djotodia and his prime minister, Nicolas Tiengaye, resigned on January 11, 2014, as part of an agreement reached at a regional conference in neighboring Chad. The National Transitional Council chose Catherine Samba-Panza as temporary president, and she took office on January 23. She became Central Africa’s first female president. Marie-Nolle Koyara became the first female defense minister since independence in January 2015.

On 18 February 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requested that the UN Security Council quickly send 3,000 soldiers to the nation to fight what he characterized as intentional targeting and mass slaughter of innocent people. The secretary-general presented a six-point strategy, which included the deployment of 3,000 peacekeepers to supplement the 6,000 African Union soldiers and 2,000 French forces currently in the nation.

Following Congolese mediation efforts, Séléka and anti-balaka officials signed a ceasefire accord in Brazzaville on July 23, 2014.

On December 14, 2015, the Séléka rebel commander proclaimed the Republic of Logone independent.

Stay Safe & Healthy in C.A.R

Stay Safe in Central African Republic

Northern regions are affected by hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds. Flooding is frequent.

Bribes will be demanded by police at checkpoints; anticipate no less than USD5; there are many allegations that a journey from the Cameroon border to Bangui would cost hundreds of US dollars or Euros in bribes. Police often seize an item (passport, camera, watch) and demand payment for it. Armed robberies on rural roads are frequent. Even during the day, violent crime is frequent in the city, especially near the “kilometer 5” bus stop. Alcoholism is a significant issue among city residents, so be wary of drunks and avoid drinking with locals (you will be out-drunk).

In March 2003, rebel troops overthrew the Central African Republic’s government, and the group’s commander declared himself president. Despite calm elections in March 2005, visitors may face danger, especially during public rallies. The Christian terrorist organization Anti-balaka, as well as the Islamist organization Seleka and its affiliated terrorists, continue to operate in the nation. See the warningbox at the top of this page for the most recent information on the current severe security situation.


In principle, tourists may get a permit de filmer from the Ministry of Tourism in Bangui in a few of days. In reality, however, photography is regarded with suspicion and despised not just by the police/army in the typical sensitive areas (government buildings, infrastructure, checkpoints), but by the general public almost everywhere. Taking pictures in a prominent manner can attract unwanted attention, and you should always ask for permission to photograph anybody, especially in public areas.

Stay Healthy in Central African Republic

Some parts of Bangui have clean and filtered drinking water, thus water served at some restaurants and pubs is safe to drink. However, the cleanliness of the water is untrustworthy, therefore it is better to purchase bottled water or boil/filter water. There is no assurance of water quality outside of the capital. Prior to serving, all food should be boiled or peeled, especially food bought at local markets where cleanliness is a problem. If sickness occurs, it is preferable to seek medical advice from one of the physicians at an embassy (both the French and US embassies have excellent doctors) or at a clinic run by an organization such as Institut Pasteur. Local clinics and hospitals may have a limited supply of essential supplies such as syringes, medication, and so on.

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The capital of the Central African Republic is Bangui (pronounced bang-EE). Bangui is located on the Ubangi River’s northern bank, right below a set...



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