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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Central African Republic

Count Savorgnan de Brazza led French expeditions into the region in the 1880s and the French colony of Ubangi-Shari was established the following decade.

It became self-governing within French Equatorial Africa, under the name Central African Republic, in 1958 and achieved full independence in 1960.

In December 1977 Bokassa was crowned emperor at a lavish ceremony his country could ill afford. His rule became increasingly dictatorial and idiosyncratic, leading to revolts by students. In April 1979  schoolchildren who objected to the compulsory wearing of school uniforms made by a company owned by the Bokassa family revolted. Many of the children were imprisoned, and it is estimated that at least 100 were killed, with the emperor allegedly personally involved.

The CAR covers a land area of about 240,000 square miles, and has an estimated population of about 4.4 million as of 2008.

Forest covers up to 8% of the land. The densest parts are in the south. The deforestation rate is 0.4% per year, and lumber poaching is commonplace.

Source Hutchinson Encyclopedia © RM 2014. Helicon Publishing is division of RM.

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