gained its independence in 1960 with his nephew,
David Dacko, as its first president. Dacko quickly established
one party rule, or perhaps mis-rule and there followed three
decades of political turmoil with a succession of governments, mainly military,
until democracy was allowed to emerge in 1993.
Democracy, however, did not bring
about the changes required in a poor country that had suffered from years of
internal divisions and the next ten years continued to see civil unrest, coup
attempts, and revolts from soldiers and civil servants over unpaid wages. In 2003 Rebel leader
Francois Bozize marched into the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, and declared himself President
(whilst the then president Ange-Felix Patasse was out of the country. Patasse
was later to be found guilty in his absence of fraud and sentenced to
twenty years hard labour.) Bozize was confirmed as President in 2005 and again
in disputed elections held in 2011.
However his government fell to
the Séléka rebel group in March 2013 with its leader, Michel Djotodia,
proclaiming himself President. Fighting continued between the rebel groups with
hundreds of thousands being displaced and on 11th January 2014, Djotodia and his
prime minister both resigned in favour of an interim government headed by the
National Transitional Council with intreim President, Catherine Samba-Panza,
assuming office on 23 January. The current transitional
government of the Central African Republic whilst in power, has little to no control of outlying areas
particularly around Central African Republic's borders where rebel groups
operate using guerrilla tactics to often terrorise local communities.