Natural resources and energy
The Central African Republic has large
commodity resources, mainly diamonds but also gold and
Especially in the southwest and central parts of the
country there are plenty of diamonds. Since the assets
are spread over two major river systems, it is difficult
to extract them industrially. A large part of the
extraction is instead made by 80,000 to 100,000 diamond
watchers who provide their families with what they find
and can sell to buyers.
Major exports by Central African Republic with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
The 2012 conflict (see Modern History) has resulted
in areas with diamond deposits being taken over or
haunted by various militia groups that come across
diamonds through their own extraction of deposits or
through clean robberies.
Thus, Central Africa's diamonds have become "conflict
diamonds" and are subject to export bans in accordance
with the so-called Kimberley process. It is a United
Nations-sponsored collaboration between governments and
companies to prevent diamond purchases from funding war
and human rights violations. The militias bypass the ban
Gold is also extracted, but the size of the
production has varied greatly depending on the ups and
downs in the world market price. A significant long-term
increase in production was expected with the Canadian
company Axmin's new investment in the gold mine
Passendro. But the civil war caused the company to
postpone plans indefinitely.
Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, CT stands for Central African Republic.
The uranium is available in large quantities, but the
deposits are largely unexploited. French company Areva
has built a plant for uranium extraction in Bankouma
outside Bangassou in the south. However, in 2011, Areva
ceased operations due to reduced nuclear fuel demand
following the reactor failure at Fukushima, Japan.
There are also reserves of iron ore, tin, lignite and
limestone, but the lack of infrastructure and political
uncertainty means that no mining companies have wanted
to invest in mining.
Indications indicate that there may be oil deposits
in the northern part of the country. But any
exploitation is well into the future.
Electric shortages and threats to wildlife
The country's energy supply is based on hydroelectric
power stations and power plants fired with imported oil.
Firewood is the largest energy source in the
Electricity is mainly produced using hydropower.
Production is insufficient and power outages are a
recurring problem. There have been plans to build new
hydropower plants to increase electricity generation,
but funding has been lacking. Only three percent of the
residents have access to electricity in their homes and
they live in the cities. In the countryside there is
basically no electricity. Some households use diesel
generators to generate electricity.
Emissions from fossil fuels, deforestation, land
degradation and threats to the country's wildlife
include the environmental problems. The expected climate
change is expected to intensify the problems that the
country is already struggling with: drought in certain
periods intermittent with rainfall and floods.
According to the UN, 44 animal species in the country
are threatened. The elephant trunk shrinks under
pressure from poachers who are looking for ivory.
According to several environmental organizations, the
poaching of elephants in the country has increased.
According to one study, the number of forest elephants,
which is smaller than those living on the savannah, has
decreased by 62 percent since the years after the turn
of the millennium.
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
301,000 tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
0.1 ton (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
76.6 percent (2015)
Smuggling traffic gives birth to rebel groups
A group of UN experts urges Minusca to place greater emphasis on monitoring
mining areas and the illicit trade in diamonds (and gold), which, they believe,
will help finance both Séléka and anti-Balaka militias. Since 2013, diamonds
from the Central African Republic have been banned for export, in accordance
with the so-called Kimberley Process, but despite this, diamonds worth $ 24
million have been smuggled out of the country since the end of 2013, according
to UN experts.
New battles in Bangui
Hard fighting erupts at the beginning of the month between anti-Balaka
militias and Muslim rebels in Bangui. According to the government, both light
and heavy weapons have been distributed to the population with the aim of
causing concern with the goal that the government should be forced to resign.
The violence should also have been directed at the UN force Minusca. On October
11, Minusca is said to have intervened against anti-Balaka rebels approaching
the president's residence.
Misca becomes Minusca
In the middle of the month, the AU-led force Misca is transformed into a UN
force, Minusca. It then consists of 500 AU soldiers and will be reinforced with
approximately 1200 soldiers from Bangladesh and Pakistan. Minusca's mandate is
primarily to protect the population and support the political process in order
to make the state operational again.
Ministers are excluded from rebel movements
At the end of the month, a Séléka faction says that they have excluded the
representatives of the group who are members of the government. Other groups
also criticize the new government and exclude members who have received
New government ready
Prime Minister Kamoun appoints a new government with 29 members. It includes
three Séléka members and three from anti-Balaka. At the same time, reports of
new fighting between different militia groups in the Bodar region.
The IMF suspends support following allegations of missing aid funds
At the same time, allegations that money received by the government from
donors have disappeared and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decide to
cancel their work in Bangui. Samba-Panza is further accused of trying to favor
relatives and friends instead of thinking about the country's best.
Muslim is appointed new prime minister
President Samba-Panza appoints Muslim Mahamat Kamoun as new prime minister.
Thus, the country gets its first Muslim head of government since independence in
1960. Kamoun promises to end the fighting and form a government where the
country's rival interests are represented.
Cooperation between the LRA and former Séléka rebels?
Ugandan troops kill 15 former Séléka rebels in fighting in the eastern part
of the country. The Ugandan force is in the country to fight the Ugandan LRA
guerrilla with the support of US special forces. Following the fighting, a
spokesman for the Ugandan military says it now sees the Séléka groups as its
enemy as the rebel movement forces the civilian population to assist the LRA
with food and medicine and helps the LRA trade in ivory and minerals.
The government presents a peace plan
At the beginning of the month, the government presents a plan on how to
achieve peace. According to Interim President Samba-Panza, anyone who commits
serious crimes should be punished, dialogue with the armed groups should
continue and more should be done to prevent young people, especially unemployed
young men, from being recruited by violence groups. Samba-Panza later sends a
request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to begin investigating the
serious abuses committed in the country since 2012 (see also February
Ancient Sélékarebeller strengthens the grip in the north
In the northern part of the country, groups formed by former Sélékarebeller
appear to be strengthening their grip. These are said to have created parallel
organizations for the national army and the police force, among other things in
order to gain better control over their personnel. The government is accusing
them of trying to push a division of the country.
The UN and the US face sanctions
The UN decides to impose sanctions on former President Bozizé and two leaders
of anti-Balaka militias. This means that their assets will be frozen and they
will be subject to travel bans. Shortly thereafter, the United States also faces
sanctions against these three people as well as against Djotodia and a former
rebel leader in Séléka.
Aid organization stops relief efforts
Doctors Without Borders announces that most of their efforts in the country
are canceled due to the uncertain situation.
The EU force will protect the airport
At the same time, the EU is sending a force, the Eufor-RCA, to secure the
stability of the capital Bangui and its airport. The first 150 soldiers from the
EU (France and Estonia) arrive and take over responsibility for the airport. In
total, the force will comprise 750 men.
Minusca will be replaced by Misca
The UN Security Council decides to send a peacekeeping force of 12,000 men to
the Central African Republic. The UN force called Minusca will replace Misca in
Chad leaves Misca
Chad decides to withdraw his troops from Misca on charges of assisting
Anti-balaka militia kills AU soldier
A Congolese Misca soldier is killed by anti-Balaka militia. After that, the
AU says that anti-Balaka will be regarded as terrorists and that they will in
the future be treated as such. Since the wave of violence began, 21 Misca
soldiers have been killed in the Central African Republic.
Anti-balaka militias have taken control in the west
At the same time, anti-Balaka militias are said to have taken control of most
of the cities in the western part of the country.
The UN investigates human rights violations
The UN Security Council decides to investigate who was behind the violence in
December 2013 so that they can be tried and convicted of the human rights
violations committed at that time. According to the UN, there are now only 1,000
Muslims left in the capital of the more than 100,000 who previously lived there.
Struggles and lack of money hamper relief efforts
The battles make it difficult for aid organizations to bring in food for the
affected, and the situation threatens to worsen before the rainy season. The
first rainfall comes as early as March, which is earlier than usual. At the same
time, the UN has only received a small portion ($ 112 million) of the money
needed for the relief effort ($ 551 million).
Aqim threatens revenge attacks
At the end of the month, the Islamist group al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
(Aqim) threatens revenge attacks against France for its intervention in the
Central African Republic.
France reinforces military force
France announces that another 400 soldiers will be sent to the Central
African Republic. As a result, the French troops in the country will amount to
around 2,000 men.
Continued acts of violence against civilians
Tens of thousands of Muslims are now fleeing mainly from the western and
central parts of the country. Amnesty International blames anti-Balaka militias
for ethnic cleansing of Muslims and calls on peacekeepers to deploy more troops
in the cities where Muslims are threatened. Former Séleka rebels and other armed
Muslims, according to Amnesty, are committing new abuses against Christians and
ICC investigates war crimes
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is launching a preliminary
investigation into the abuses committed in the Central African Republic,
including suspected murders, rapes and sexual slavery.
The UN gives the EU the go-ahead to send peacekeepers to CAR
The UN Security Council mandates the EU to send a peace force to the Central
Samba-Panza takes up as new interim president
On January 23, the new president will take office. A few days later, she
appointed André Nzapayéké, who was previously secretary general of the African
Development Bank, as new prime minister. This is followed by new reports of
violence, which now appear to be directed mainly at the Muslim population of the
capital. Extensive looting of Muslim neighborhoods is also ongoing. Many
civilian Muslims also leave the city.
Catherine Samba-Panza is elected interim president
The Transitional Council also votes to appoint Bangui Mayor Catherine
Samba-Panza as new interim president after she defeated a second round of
elections in Desiré Kolingba, the daughter of one of the country's former
presidents. Samba-Panza is a successful businesswoman, Christian but considered
politically neutral. She was born in Chad, studied law in France and moved to
the Central African Republic when she was 18 years old. The new president calls
on the armed groups to lay down their weapons. The selection of Samba-Panza is
welcomed in many parts of the Central African Union. At the same time, new
reports of violence continue.
The EU sends military force
EU foreign ministers agree to send a military force of about 500 men to the
Central African Republic.
In connection with a regional summit in Chad, Djotodia is being pressured to
resign because he has failed to stop the violence. He announces that he is
leaving the post of interim president . The role of head of state is assumed by
Alexandre Ferdinand Nguendet, leader of the National Transitional Council CNT.
Djotodia goes into exile in Benin. The hopes that Djotodia's departure will lead
to calm are not met. Violence continues and African countries are evacuating
At least 1000 have been killed over a month
Violence in the country is now estimated to have claimed about a thousand
casualties just since the beginning of December.