The Central African Republic (CAR) is a landlocked country located in the center of Africa. The area that is now the CAR has been inhabited for at least 8,000 years. The earliest inhabitants were the probable ancestors of today’s Aka (Pygmy) peoples, who live in the western and southern forested regions of the country.
The history of the CAR can be divided into four distinct periods. The first period began around 10,000 years ago when nomadic people first began to settle, farm and fish in the region. The second period began around 10,000 years prior to the present when the Bantu people migrated into the region from Nigeria. The third period began in the late 19th century when France established colonial rule over the region. The fourth period began in 1960 when the CAR gained independence from France.
The CAR was initially part of French Equatorial Africa, which was established in 1910. In 1958, it became an autonomous territory within the French Community and achieved independence on August 13, 1960. David Dacko became the country’s first president after independence and ruled until he was overthrown in a coup in 1965 by Jean-Bédel Bokassa.
Bokassa declared himself emperor in 1976 and renamed the country the Central African Empire. His regime was characterized by corruption, extravagance, and human rights abuses. In 1979, he was overthrown by a French-backed coup led by David Dacko and fled to France. Dacko ruled until he was overthrown in a coup led by André Kolingba in 1981.
Kolingba ruled until he was ousted by Ange-Félix Patassé in democratic elections held in 1993. Patassé was re-elected in 1999 but was overthrown in a coup led by François Bozizé in 2003. Bozizé ruled until he was overthrown by a coalition of rebel groups known as Seleka in March 2013. Michel Djotodia became president but resigned under pressure from regional leaders in January 2014. Catherine Samba-Panza was appointed interim president until elections were held in February 2016, which were won by Faustin-Archange Touadéra.
In conclusion, the Central African Republic has a rich history that spans thousands of years. From its earliest inhabitants to its colonial past and independence, the CAR has undergone significant changes throughout its history.