Children in CAR
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History of Central African Republic (CAR)

More information on the history and background as to the context of the conflicts in the CAR.


The situation in the CAR remains dire, with 3.1 million people in urgent need. Decades of fighting, political corruption, epidemic diseases and a deteriorating economy has meant that over a million people have been displaced and separated from their families. This poses significant risks to children, making them vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups, exploitation, both sexual and physical abuse, trauma and hunger. 

The political landscape of CAR makes it tough for a child to be a child, and the impact of COVID-19 combined with a lack of essential healthcare services have worsened conditions in the country. Children are in desperate need of protection, livelihood and psychological support as well as reunification with with their families, and the critical support they need after leaving armed groups.  

What is the CAR? 
CAR stands for the Central African Republic  

What is the population in CAR?
5 million  

What is the national language of CAR?
French and Sangho 

What is the capital city of CAR?


*Red pins show areas where we work. 

The Central African Republic Today

Natural disasters, disease and rebel fighting continues to put families and children in CAR at serious risk. Whilst the government becomes more stable and less volatile, rebel attacks are still common, and children continue to face exploitation and abuse.  

History of CAR

Brief historical summary of key events.


Period from 1960 - 1966

David Dacko becomes president of CAR after independence is gained.


Period from 1966 - 1988

Dacko is ousted by army leader Jean-Bedel Bokassa due to economic issues and declares himself emperor in 1976. In 1979, Bokassa is sentenced to death for corruption.


Period from 1991 - 1993

Political parties are allowed to form, and Ange-Felix Patasse is elected over Kolingba and Dacko, becoming president after 12 years of military rule.



Coup to overthrow President Patasse results in thousands fleeing as fighting breaks out.


Period from 2003 - 2005

Patasse is ousted by rebel commander Francois Bozize, declaring himself President and dissolving parliament. In 2005, thousands flee lawlessness and floods and aid becomes critical.


Period from 2006 - 2007

Rebels seize towns of Birao and French intervenes to defeat rebel fighters. In 2007, three rebel groups form alliance called Seleka and sign a peace accord and join CAR arm.


Period from 2008 - 2009

Continued strikes over non-payments from government for wages and Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army rebels attack CAR. In 2009, Ugandan LRA rebels and infiltrate capital, Bangui and UN address ongoing insecurity and civil unrest by deploying peacekeeping force.


Period from 2010 - 2012

Rebels attack north and African union attempt to find Warlord Joseph Kony in CAR. In 2011, War Child enter country in 2011 to begin child protection, reintegration and education programmes.


Period from 2013 - 2014

Seleka rebels seize power during coup (start of 5 year war) and leader Michel Djotodia becomes President and UN chief states a total breakdown of law and order as turmoil between rival Muslim and Christian fights, deploys peacekeeping force to support African Union and French troops and formally takes over as part of MINSUCA mission.


Period from 2015 - 2016

Christian militia involved in ethnic cleansing and new constitution approved in referendum. In 2016, kidnappings increase by LRA from Uganda and Faustin Archange Touadera elected as President.



LRA withdraws from CAR after 5 years of fighting and upsurge in violence due to withdrawal of international forces and attacks on UN peacekeepers.


Period from 2018 –2020

Violence worsens and Russia’s private army Wagner Group interferes to support Touadera against rebels.

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