Central African Republic 2006
Central African Republic. In the northern parts of the country there were armed riots throughout the year. Thousands of people escaped and by the end of the year, the army was assisted by French troops to strike back a rebel force that had occupied a few cities in the northeast. The unrest in the North Central African Republic was linked to both rebel rebellion in Chad and the conflict in the Sudanese Darfur region. In a report from the African Union, however, the Central African Republic’s army was criticized for contributing to the unrest through brutal treatment of the civilian population.
According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Central African Republic include Independence Day (August 13) and New Year (January 1). President Ange-Félix Patassé was sentenced in August in his absence to twenty years in prison for fraud and embezzlement. However, the Central African Republic’s Court of Appeal decided to ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to investigate charges against him, Congolese presidential candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba and a Chadian mercenary for abuse in the defeat of a coup attempt against Patassé in 2002.
In October, the South African company UraMin began extracting uranium in Bakouma in the eastern Central African Republic. The company will invest the equivalent of just over SEK 190 million. in the project, which is the first major scale mining of uranium in the Central African Republic.
Parliamentary candidates are rejected
The Constitutional Court decides to reject all candidates in the parliamentary elections who lead rebel groups. Most of them come from President Faustin Touadera’s Movement for the United Hearts (MCU) party.
Thirteen want to run in the presidential election
13 candidates have registered to run in the December 27 presidential election. Among the more well-known are incumbent President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, who is considered the most likely to win the election, former President François Bozizé, former interim president Catherine Samba-Panza and former prime ministers Anicet-Georges Dologuélé and Martin Ziguélé. Bozizé, who is currently registering his candidacy, is considered to have the greatest chance of challenging Touadéra. He returned to his homeland after several years in exile in Uganda, but it is unclear exactly what date he returned. This is important because a presidential candidate must be able to show that he or she has lived in the country for at least one year in order to stand for election. he seized power in a coup in 2003, but was overthrown ten years later in another coup.
In the Central African Republic the last years of the 20th century. they had been marked by the start of a timid democratization process, accompanied however by strong political instability. This change took place in a difficult economic situation, shaken by the consequences of the 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc ( Coopération Financière en Afrique , the common currency of French-speaking Africa), by the austerity measures imposed by the structural adjustment policy agreed with the Monetary Fund. internationally, and finally the fall, at the beginning of the 1990s, in the international prices of coffee and cotton, then the main agricultural products exported by the country.
The need for technologies and market outlets functional to the exploitation of underground resources (diamonds, gold, oil, gas) represented a further element of crisis, in a country substantially lacking in infrastructure and without direct access to the sea, due to the overlapping of interests and interference on the part of European powers, in particular France, large multinationals and African countries such as Libya and especially Chad. This complex of elements contributed to determining a situation of serious precariousness, which had found its way into a series of military uprisings which had been quelled only thanks to the intervention of French troops. Confirmation in September 1999 by AF Patassé as President of the Republic, in elections held amidst protests and boycotts by the opposition, and the departure in February 2000 of the United Nations troops, who arrived in the country in 1997 to replace the French ones, accentuated the political instability, which exploded in May 2001 in yet another coup attempt, this time by A. Kolingba, former President of the Republic from 1991 to 1993.
The fall of the legitimate government was prevented only by the intervention of Libya and Congolese rebel groups led by JP Bemba. In November of the same year, Patassé removed General F. Bozize from his post as commander-in-chief of the army because he considered him involved in the failed coup attempt. Bozize took refuge in Chad with some units loyal to him, and from there he launched guerrilla actions in the north of the Central African Republic. This led to a worsening in relations between the two countries: the bilateral talks held in December 2001, under the aegis of the UN, seemed to lead to a settlement of the conflict, but above all they signaled the weakness of the Central African Republic, which dropped the accusations against Bozize but suffered in 2002the resumption of raids on its territory, until the temporary occupation in October of a part of the capital Bangui itself: the troops of Bozize were repelled only thanks to the intervention of the Libyan forces. Libya’s disengagement in December 2002 further weakened the government, despite the arrival of a multinational force of 370 from the Communauté économique et monétaire de l’Afrique centrale (CEMAC).
In March 2003, while Patassé was absent for a conference in Niger, Bozize successfully carried out a new coup attempt, followed by a lukewarm and irresolute condemnation from the international community. While 300 French soldiers arrived to evacuate foreign citizens, 100 Chadian soldiers helped Bozize’s troops to ensure public order. A transitional national council of 98 members was established in May 2003 as a provisional legislative body and to draft the new Constitution: this, approved in a popular referendum in December 2004, provided for greater powers for the President of the Republic, who could, however, be elected for only two 5- year terms. The two-round presidential and legislative consultations, held in March-May 2005, saw the victory respectively of Bozize, with 64.6 % of the votes, and of the coalition that had supported him, which obtained 42 seats out of 106.