60 years ago, the Central African Republic declared its independence

In August 1960, eight French-speaking African countries acceded to international sovereignty. For this 60th anniversary, France offers 24 to tell if each of them has grown to independence. August 13, 1960, Central African Republic.

Sixty years ago, on August 13, 1960, the Central African Republic gained its independence. Then it was David Dacko, barely 30 years old, who had been in power for a few months.

“The French Republic has just recognized the independence and international sovereignty of the Central African Republic. And for this, on behalf of my country, I would like to thank the French Government. France has thus once again proved to the world that its mission was the protection of freedom,” he said. .

A brutal colonization

For centuries, slavery enslaved the population of Central Africa. At the end of the 19th century, the Belgians were the first Europeans to discover the river Oubangui, but it was the French who turned it into a colony, Oubangui-Chari, which was soon integrated into AEF, French Equatorial Africa.

Colonization is then very brutal. “The spectacle in the villages is that men were arrested from the age of 12, they were tied with necks around their necks and they were taken together to the cotton plantation where they worked all day without drinking or eating, some would die from it and this spectacle marked me,” David had Dacko described.

In 1946, Barthélémy Boganda, a member of the French National Assembly, created the Movement for the Social Development of Black Africa, Mesan. He is considered the founding father of the Central African nation, but he did not take part in the independence celebrations, his flight crashed on March 29, 1959 in troubled circumstances, and France imposed on his young nephew David Dacko at the expense of his successor Abel Goumba.

Six years later, he was thrown into a coup in favor of his cousin and Chief of Staff Jean-Bedel Bokassa, and the soldier proclaimed himself Emperor of the Central African Republic. He was in turn dismissed by France in 1979.