On August 13, 1960, the Central African Republic gained its independence from France, and on the same day, the United States recognized it as a nation. Six months later, the embassy was established at the capital in Bangui. Since that time, the Central African Republic has had a rocky political history and a struggling social situation. The embassy has had to deal with a number of issues despite its limited influence in the country, including combating local and foreign militant groups, encouraging proper rule of law, and assisting in humanitarian aid. Due to frequent violence and unrest, the embassy has had to close down and be evacuated a few times in its short history, from 1996 to 1998, from 2002 to 2005, and again in late 2012. During the 1996-1998 period of unrest, the U.S. Agency for International Development and Peace Corps were also forced to pull out, and have yet to return.
- Helps re-stabilize the internal and external peace by assisting in the fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army and other internal conflict groups.
- Promotes democracy by encouraging political leaders to interact with the people they represent. (Small grant program for democracy: http://bangui.usembassy.gov/resources/embassy-small-grant-programs/democracy-and-human-rights-fund.html)
- Continues outreach to the Muslim community , which makes up around 15% of the population. (http://bangui.usembassy.gov/event2010-04-08.html)
- Coordinates with UNICEF to participate in the National Youth Assembly—a program which brings youth 9 to 18 from all 16 provinces of the state.
- Increases the level of knowledge and support of American values and culture through movie nights and other programs http://bangui.usembassy.gov/resources/mlk.html
- Facilitates outreach to youth groups and encourages reading of books in English and by U.S. authors through an emerging Kindle e-library program.