Timeline: Central African Republic

BBC News Online, 28 June 2001

A chronology of key events:

1880s—France annexes the area.

1894—France sets up a dependency in the area called Ubangi-Chari and partitions it among commercial concessionaires.

1910—Ubangi-Chari becomes part of the Federation of French Equatorial Africa.

1920-30—Indigenous Africans stage violent protests against abuses by concessionaires.

1946—The territory is given its own assembly and representation in the French parliament; Barthelemy Boganda, founder of the pro-independence Social Evolution Movement of Black Africa (MESAN), becomes the first Central African to be elected to the French parliament.

1957—MESAN wins control of the territorial assembly; Boganda becomes president of the Grand Council of French Equatorial Africa.


1958—The territory achieves self-government within French Equatorial Africa with Boganda as prime minister.

1959—Boganda dies.

1960—The Central African Republic becomes independent with David Dacko, nephew of Boganda, as president.

1962—Dacko turns the Central African Republic into a one-party state with MESAN as the sole party.

1964—Dacko confirmed as president in elections in which he is the sole candidate.

The Bokassa era

1965—Dacko ousted by the army commander, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, as the country faces bankruptcy and a threatened nationwide strike.

1972—Bokassa declares himself president for life.

1977—Bokassa proclaims himself emperor and renames the country the Central African Empire.

1979—Bokassa ousted in a coup led by David Dacko and backed by French troops after widespread protests in which many school children were arrested and massacred while in detention.

1981—Dacko deposed in a coup led by the army commander, Andre Kolingba.

1984—Amnesty for all political party leaders declared.

1986—Bokassa returns to the Central African Republic.

1988—Bokassa sentenced to death for murder and embezzlement, but has his sentence commuted to life imprisonment.

Ban on parties lifted

1991—Political parties permitted to form.

1992 October—Multiparty presidential and parliamentary elections held in which Kolingba came in last place, but are annulled by the supreme court on the ground of widespread irregularities.

1993—Ange-Felix Patasse beats Kolingba and Dacko in elections to become president, ending 12 years of military rule. Kolingba releases several thousand political prisoners, including Bokassa, before standing down as president.

Army mutinies

1996 May—Soldiers stage a mutiny in the capital, Bangui, over unpaid wages.

1997 November—Soldiers stage more mutinies.

1997—France begins withdrawing its forces from the republic; African peacekeepers replace French troops.

1999—Patasse re-elected; his nearest rival, former President Kolingba, wins 19% of the vote.

2000 December—Civil servants stage general strike over back-pay; rally organised by 15 opposition groups who accuse President Patasse of mismanagement and corruption deteriorates into riots..

2001 January—UN Security Council urges the Central African Republic government to defuse political tensions by giving public sector workers at least part of the back-pay owed them.

2001 28 May—At least seven soldiers and two civilians are killed following an abortive coup attempt by an army unit in the capital, Bangui.