There are approximately 620,000 square kilometers (240,000 square miles) of land in the Central African Republic. It was estimated to have a population of approximately 5.5 million as of 2021. The Central African Republic is currently the scene of a civil war that has been going on since 2012.
The Sudano-Guinean savanna covers the majority of the Central African Republic, but the country also has a Sahelo-Sudanian zone in the north and an equatorial forest zone in the south. The country is divided into two thirds by the Ubangi River basin, which empties into the Congo, and the Chari River basin, which empties into Lake Chad.
The Central African Republic, as it is today, has been inhabited for millennia; [when?] However, France, which ruled the nation as a colony beginning in the late 19th century, established the country's current borders. The Central African Republic was led by a succession of autocratic leaders after it gained independence from France in 1960, including an unsuccessful attempt at a monarchy.
In the 1990s, calls for democracy resulted in the first democratic elections with multiple parties in 1993. The Bush War in the Central African Republic began in 2004 and ended in 2012, despite a peace treaty in 2007 and another in 2011. The country's poor human rights record was perpetuated by the civil war: It was characterized by widespread and growing abuses by various participating armed groups, including arbitrarily detaining people, torturing them, and limiting their press and movement freedoms.