Central African Republic
More information about Central African Republic is available on the Central African Republic Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
U.S.-CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC RELATIONS
The United States established diplomatic relations with the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) in 1960, following its independence from France. The United States and C.A.R. enjoy generally good relations, although the U.S. continues to have concerns about the pace of political and economic liberalization, social development, and respect for human rights.
C.A.R. is one of the world’s least developed nations, and has experienced several periods of political instability since independence. The two countries share a vision of a more stable Central African Republic that enjoys greater economic growth, contributes to regional stability, and is a reliable partner on issues of mutual importance. The United States continues to work with C.A.R. and through the United Nations and other international bodies to support the country as it combats the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The United States also encourages C.A.R. to develop institutions that will improve transparency, strengthen the rule of law, and promote unity among Central Africans.
The U.S. Embassy in C.A.R. was briefly closed as a result of 1996-97 military mutinies. It reopened in 1998 with limited staff, but U.S. Agency for International Development and Peace Corps missions previously operating there did not return. The Embassy again temporarily suspended operations in November 2002 in response to security concerns raised by the October 2002 launch of a rebellion that resulted in a coup in 2003. The Embassy reopened in 2005. A resident U.S. Ambassador was appointed to C.A.R. in 2007. Currently, there is limited U.S. diplomatic/consular representation in the country, and the Embassy's ability to provide services to U.S. citizens is extremely limited. Due to unrest, the U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to C.A.R.
U.S. Assistance to Central African Republic
Central African Republic is located in a volatile and poor region and has a long history of development, governance, and human rights problems. U.S. assistance in Central African Republic is largely humanitarian in nature, with substantial contributions to multilateral organizations. Other smaller assistance programs target military professionalization, human rights, and strengthening the rule of law. Restrictions on U.S. aid that were imposed after the 2003 military coup were lifted in 2005.
C.A.R. ranks 179 out of 187 on the United Nations' Human Development Index. Significant portions of the country's territory remain uncontrolled and ungoverned, with the presence of multiple armed actors creating insecurity in much of the north and northeast. The Lord’s Resistance Army continues to terrorize civilians in the southeastern part of the country. While the 2008 Inclusive Political Dialogue and subsequent peace and cease-fire agreements brought an end to much of the internal fighting, true stability has not been cemented because of the government’s lack of capacity to fully secure its territory. Insecurity continues throughout the country, particularly outside of Bangui, and the government recognizes the urgent need to protect its citizens against threats from internal and external actors.
In October 2011, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would deploy a small number of U.S. forces to act as advisors to the national militaries in the region that are pursuing the LRA, including the Ugandan People's Defense Force and the Central African Armed Forces. Forces were deployed to C.A.R. in December 2011.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States and C.A.R. have a small amount of bilateral trade. In 2004, the United States removed C.A.R. from the list of countries eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The two countries have a bilateral investment agreement and investment treaty.
Central African Republic's Membership in International Organizations
The Central African Republic is an active member in several Central African organizations. A major foreign policy objective of the C.A.R. Government is standardization of tax, customs, and security arrangements among Central African countries. The Central African Republic and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. C.A.R. generally joins other African and developing countries in consensus positions on major policy issues.
Central African Republic maintains an embassy in the United States at 2704 Ontario Road, NW, Washington, DC, 20009 (tel: 202-483-7800/01).
More information about Central African Republic is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Central African Republic Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Central African Republic Page
U.S. Embassy: Central African Republic
History of U.S. Relations With Central African Republic
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Travel and Business Information