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The former French colony of Ubangi-Shari became the Central African Republic upon independence in 1960. After three tumultuous decades of misrule - mostly by military governments - civilian rule was established in 1993 and lasted for one decade. President Ange-Felix PATASSE's civilian government was plagued by unrest, and in March 2003 he was deposed in a military coup led by General Francois BOZIZE, who established a transitional government. Though the government has the tacit support of civil society groups and the main parties, a wide field of candidates contested the municipal, legislative, and presidential elections held in March and May of 2005 in which General BOZIZE was affirmed as president. BOZIZE was reelected in the 2011 elections, which were widely viewed as having gross inaccuracies and discrepancies. The government still does not fully control the countryside, where pockets of lawlessness persist. Militant group Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) continues to affect stability in the Central African Republic as well.


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Geography

Location
Central Africa, north of Democratic Republic of the Congo

Geographic coordinates
7 00 N, 21 00 E

Map references
Africa

Area World Ranking: 45
Total 622,984 sq km
Land 622,984 sq km
Water 0 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries
Total 5,203 km
Border countries
Cameroon 797 km, Chad 1,197 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,577 km, Republic of the Congo 467 km, South Sudan 990 km, Sudan 175 km

Coastline
0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims
None (landlocked)

Climate
Tropical; hot, dry winters; mild to hot, wet summers

Terrain
Vast, flat to rolling, monotonous plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Oubangui River 335 m
Highest point Mont Ngaoui 1,420 m

Natural resources
Diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower

Land use
Arable land 3.1%
Permanent crops 0.15%
Other 96.75% (2005)

Irrigated land
10 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
144.4 cu km (2003)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Total 0.03 cu km/yr (80%/16%/4%)
Per capita 7 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards
Hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds affect northern areas; floods are common

Environment - current issues
Tap water is not potable; poaching has diminished the country's reputation as one of the last great wildlife refuges; desertification; deforestation

Environment - international agreements
Party to
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
Signed, but not ratified Law of the Sea

Geography - note
Landlocked; almost the precise center of Africa


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  Central African Republic (Bangui):


  GPS points from Central African Republic (Bangui)

Beli Central African Republic (general)

Boambeli Prefecture De La Ouaka

Boma Central African Republic (general)

Benepa Prefecture De L' Ombella-mpoko

Zela Central African Republic (general)

Bogo Central African Republic (general)

Gahaiton Prefecture De La Lobaye

Pikapou Prefecture De La Basse-kotto




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