Central African Republic 2019
Central African Republic. After 18 months of negotiations, a peace agreement was signed in early February between the government and 14 armed rebel groups. None of the previous agreements concluded since 2012 have lasted any longer. The agreement stipulated that a national unity government should be formed with the participation of all the country’s political and social movements. The prime minister would be taken from the rebel side. Instead of the general amnesty requested by the rebels, a special body would be set up to bring the perpetrator to justice. Newly formed military associations, consisting of both government soldiers and rebels, were given the right to disarm militia soldiers and help them back into society. In order to facilitate cooperation, the government, the militia and the African Union would meet monthly in an executive committee.
However, the prime minister who took office in early March was a person close to President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, Firmin Ngrébada. He has previously been prime minister and led the delegation during this year’s peace talks in Sudan’s capital Khartoum. The new government presented by Ngrébada meant no changes to the heavy items and six of the 14 rebel groups that signed the agreement were without ministerial posts. This led to strong dissatisfaction. In mid-March, eleven of the rebel groups demanded that the prime minister be replaced, but they still said they were behind the peace agreement. This resulted in a reformed government, but one of the groups, the Central African People’s Democratic Front (FDPC).
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In April, fighting broke out between the FDPC and the UN force MINUSCA, which joined the offensive after the militia set up roadblocks along the road leading from the Central African Republic to Cameroon. In September, around 40 people were killed when the FDPC and the Movement for Central Africa’s Freedom Fighters for Justice (MLCJ) rallied in the northeastern part of the country.
The work of disarming the militias got grit on the machinery when the warlord Mahamat Alkatim, leader of the Central African Patriotic Movement (MPC), left the post as military adviser to the government in August. According to Alkatim, the opportunities for him to form the new security forces with elements of rebels were too small. Earlier this month, the government had demanded that the rebels first be disarmed, while they in turn demanded to be accommodated somewhere before handing over their weapons. However, there was no money to pay for housing for the militiamen.
In September, the UN eased the current arms embargo on the country. If the UN receives a warning at least 20 days in advance, the purchase of weapons of a certain caliber is allowed. In recent years, the Russian Federation has on two occasions been authorized to sell weapons to the Central African Republic.
According to CountryAAH, the population of Central African Republic in 2019 was 4,745,074, ranking number 126 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.690% yearly, and the population density was 7.6169 people per km2.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
Internal state of Central Africa. At the last census, carried out in 1988, the population was equal to 2,688,426 residents, but the high growth rate (2 ‰ the annual average of the 1990-2002 period) has rapidly increased the demographic consistency of the country, which according to a 2005 estimate it had grown by over 48 % compared to the census data (4,038,000 residents). Socio-economic indicators remain weak: infant mortality is still high (91 ‰ in 2005), life expectancy at birth low (38 years for males, 40for females), illiteracy affects about half of the population, in 2003 AIDS had infected 13.5 % of adults, with a clear prevalence of women compared to men (13.5 % of females between 15 and 24 years, against 5.8 % of males of the same age group), finally, according to the United Nations, two thirds of the population still live in ‘absolute poverty’. The only large urban agglomeration remained that of the capital, Bangui, which in 2003 had 531,800 residents.
The chronic political instability, corruption and squandering affecting public life at every level constitute serious obstacles to the possibilities of development: the state coffers are empty, the government is unable to pay public employees and the country remains dependent on international aid.. The economy is dominated by diamonds and the primary sector, especially forest exploitation. Relaunched as of 1994, the timber industry represented in 2002 the 50 % of the total value of exports (31 % in 1999). Agriculture continues to be unable to ensure food self-sufficiency, and many products have to be imported or supplied by international aid organizations. Export crops (cotton and especially coffee), long neglected, need a revival, but the insecurity that persists throughout the country, and especially in rural areas, makes it very difficult to implement any plan productive. As for diamonds, it is estimated that illegal production is more than double the official one (530,000 carats in 2002, 36, 6% of total exports): the government has tried to oppose smuggling, but the results are modest. The industry has remained at an embryonic stage, and is destined only for the satisfaction of the narrow internal market. In 2003 the trade balance recorded a significant surplus, while that of payments a heavy deficit. France remained the main source of imports, while Belgium, Luxembourg and France were, in order, the largest export markets. Among the curiosities, the export of rare butterfly specimens should be remembered.