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Central Africa Republic Timeline -- Part 2: From Independence (13 August 1960) to Kolingba's Coup (1 September 1981)

A Chronology of Key Events in Central Africa Republic

By Alistair Boddy-Evans, About.com

13 August 1960 Independence as the Central African Republic. David Dacko is the new republic's first (acting) president (given the death of Boganda in a air crash) -- he also retains the post of prime minister.
At a series of meeting held in Bangui, Central African Republic, and Paris, France, leaders of the four former members of Afrique Équatoriale Française (AEF, French Equatorial Africa) agree to found a Union des Républiques Centrale Africaine (Union of Central African Republics), but the initiative fails.
17 November 1960 Republic is ratified through a constitution which calls for a president led government. David Dacko confirmed as president for Mouvement pour l'Evolution Sociale de l'Afrique Noire (MESAN, Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa).
February 1961 Mouvement pour la Libération du Peuple Centrafricain (MLPC, Movement for the Liberation of Central African People) is banned and its leaders placed under house arrest.
1962 President David Dacko makes the Central African Republic a one-party state -- the 'one' party being Mouvement pour l'Evolution Sociale de l'Afrique Noire (MESAN, Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa).
5 January 1964 David Dacko is re-elected unopposed (unsurprising since he is the sole candidate) in a one-party state.
1 January 1966 Coup d'état by army chief of staff, Jean-Bédel Bokassa who is responding to national unrest as the country faces bankruptcy. David Dacko is removed from power, Bokassa leads military government both as president and prime minister.
4 March 1972 Jean-Bédel Bokassa declared president-for-life.
3 January 1975 Elisabeth Domitien becomes prime minister for Mouvement pour l'Evolution Sociale de l'Afrique Noire (MESAN, Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa), taking over the post which had been effectively held by President Jean-Bédel Bokassa since January 1966. MESAN remains the only legal party in the Central African Republic.
March 1975 State visit by French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing during which he meets with heads of state from several ex-French colonies with the intention to restore diplomatic and economic relations.
September 1976 Council for the Central African Revolution replaces the Council of Ministers. Former president David Dacko is appointed personal advisor to President-for-life Jean-Bédel Bokassa.
4 Dec 1976 Jean-Bédel Bokassa declares himself emperor and renames the country the Empire Centrafricain (Central African Empire). Bokassa takes full power and appoints his own ministers.
8 December 1976 Ange-Félix Patassé becomes prime minister for Mouvement pour l'Evolution Sociale de l'Afrique Noire (MESAN, Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa), replacing Elisabeth Domitien.
December 1977 Jean-Bédel Bokassa invested as Emperor in a ceremony attended by several heads of state. The ceremony was estimated to have cost 25% of the country's annual foreign investment.
The USA withdraws its Ambassador after two US journalists are arrested for espionage.
May 1978 The Mouvement pour l'Evolution Sociale de l'Afrique Noire (MESAN, Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa) is reorganized into a political institution for the aggrandizement of Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa. The army is also reorganized to support the Emperor.
14 July 1978 Former deputy leader, Henri Maïdou, becomes prime minister for Mouvement pour l'Evolution Sociale de l'Afrique Noire (MESAN, Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa). New council appointed to replace the Council for Central African Revolution.
January 1979 School pupils demonstrating against the compulsory uniforms are shot at in Bangui by police. It is believed that French troops were called in to give assistance.
March 1979 Amid general unrest amongst the public, Bokassa announces another reorganization of the government. Opposition parties are un-banned.
May 1979 France withdraws its support after international media reports of demonstrating children being killed by government troops.
July 1979 Opposition groups, including the Mouvement pour la Libération du Peuple Centrafricain (MLPC, Movement for the Liberation of Central African People) and the Front Patriotique Oubanguien - Parti du Travail de Centrafrique (FPO-PT, Oubanguien Patriotic Front - Central African Labour Party), form a coalition against Bokassa and the Mouvement pour l'Evolution Sociale de l'Afrique Noire (MESAN, Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa).
20 September 1979 Jean-Bédel Bokassa overthrown by David Dacko (who receives French help -- Opération Barracuda). Bokassa, who is in Libya on a state visit flees to Côte d'Ivoire. Dacko leads the country as president for the Mouvement pour l'Evolution Sociale de l'Afrique Noire (MESAN, Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa) and heads a transitional government. The republic is reconstituted.
26 September 1979 Bernard-Christian Ayandho appointed prime minister for Mouvement pour l'Evolution Sociale de l'Afrique Noire (MESAN, Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa).
March 1980 The Union Démocratique Centrafricain (UDC, Central African Democratic Union) founded by David Dacko. He claims that the UDC is a direct continuation of the Mouvement pour l'Evolution Sociale de l'Afrique Noire (MESAN, Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa). Both President Dacko and Prime Minister Ayandho now represent the UDC. The UDC is declared the only legal party and the Central African Republic once again becomes a one-party state.
12 November 1980 Jean-Pierre Lebouder now prime minister for the Union Démocratique Centrafricain (UDC, Central African Democratic Union).
December 1980 Ex-president Jean-Bédel Bokassa sentenced to death in absentia for the murder of his political rivals.
15 March 1981 David Dacko elected president in national elections after winning 51.1% of the vote. Dacko is, however, seen as a puppet of the French and is heavily opposed by various supporters of Bokassa, including former prime minister Ange-Félix Patassé (who had won 38.8% of the presidential vote).
4 April 1981 Simon Narcisse Bozanga now prime minister for the Union Démocratique Centrafricain (UDC, Central African Democratic Union).
1 September 1981 President David Dacko is ousted by General André Dieudonné Kolingba, who was the army chief of staff. (It is said that Kolingba had aid from French security officers who acted without approval from the French government). Kolingba takes power as Chairman of the Military Committee of National Recovery. He also assumes the role of prime minister. Opposition parties such as the Mouvement pour la Libération du Peuple Centrafricain (MLPC, Movement for the Liberation of Central African People) and the Front Patriotique Oubanguien - Parti du Travail de Centrafrique (FPO-PT, Oubanguien Patriotic Front - Central African Labor Party) are banned and leaders detained.

More on the History of Central Africa Republic
Part 1: From Prehistory to Independence (13 August 1960)
• Part 2: From Independence (13 August 1960) to Kolingba's Coup (1 September 1981)
Part 3: From Kolingba's Coup (1 September 1981) to the Death of Bokassa (4 November 1996)
Part 4: From the Death of Bokassa (4 November 1996) to the Election of President Bozizé (May 2005)
Part 5: From the Election of President Bozizé (May 2005) to the Present Day

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