Central Africa Republic

Central African Republic (CAR) was a French colony, as Ubanghi-Shari. The territory of present day CAR was called Oubangui-Shari in colonial times, named after the country's two largest rivers. It was 1 of 4 territories of French Equatorial African Empire, marking the point where French colonial advance to the east was halted. Colonial rule was based on a plantation economy, and the French were often brutal in their treatment of the local population. CAR was formed in 1958 as the French empire broke up, and became officially independent in 1960. The leader of the country in the 1950s, the priest Barthelemy Boganda, died in a plane crash in 1959. The young teacher David Dacko became President on independence, with strong French backing. David Dacko's rule was corrupt and incompetent.


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