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Democratic Republic of the Congo vs. Central African Republic

Introduction

Democratic Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
BackgroundEstablished as an official Belgian colony in 1908, the then-Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960, but its early years were marred by political and social instability. Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name - to MOBUTU Sese Seko - as well as that of the country - to Zaire. MOBUTU retained his position for 32 years through several sham elections, as well as through brutal force. Ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of refugees in 1994 from fighting in Rwanda and Burundi, led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion backed by Rwanda and Uganda and fronted by Laurent KABILA. KABILA renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), but in August 1998 his regime was itself challenged by a second insurrection again backed by Rwanda and Uganda. Troops from Angola, Chad, Namibia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe intervened to support KABILA's regime. In January 2001, KABILA was assassinated and his son, Joseph KABILA, was named head of state. In October 2002, the new president was successful in negotiating the withdrawal of Rwandan forces occupying the eastern DRC; two months later, the Pretoria Accord was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting and establish a government of national unity. A transitional government was set up in July 2003; it held a successful constitutional referendum in December 2005 and elections for the presidency, National Assembly, and provincial legislatures took place in 2006.
In 2009, following a resurgence of conflict in the eastern DRC, the government signed a peace agreement with the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), a primarily Tutsi rebel group. An attempt to integrate CNDP members into the Congolese military failed, prompting their defection in 2012 and the formation of the M23 armed group - named after the 23 March 2009 peace agreements. Renewed conflict led to large population displacements and significant human rights abuses before the M23 was pushed out of DRC to Uganda and Rwanda in late 2013 by a joint DRC and UN offensive. In addition, the DRC continues to experience violence committed by other armed groups including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, the Allied Democratic Forces, and assorted Mai Mai militias. In the most recent national elections, held in November 2011, disputed results allowed Joseph KABILA to be reelected to the presidency. The DRC Constitution bars President KABILA from running for a third term, but the DRC Government has delayed national elections originally slated for November 2016. The failure to hold elections as scheduled has fueled sporadic street protests by KABILA’s opponents. In late December 2016, government officials and opposition leaders struck a last-minute deal that will require KABILA to step down after elections to be held by the end of 2017.
The former French colony of Ubangi-Shari became the Central African Republic upon independence in 1960. After three tumultuous decades of misrule - mostly by military governments - civilian rule was established in 1993 but lasted only a decade. In March 2003, President Ange-Felix PATASSE was deposed in a military coup led by General Francois BOZIZE, who established a transitional government. Elections held in 2005 affirmed General BOZIZE as president; he was reelected in 2011 in voting widely viewed as flawed. The government still lacks full control of the countryside, where lawlessness persists. Several rebel groups joined together in early December 2012 to launch a series of attacks that left them in control of numerous towns in the northern and central parts of the country. The rebels - unhappy with BOZIZE's government - participated in peace talks in early January 2013 which resulted in a coalition government including the rebellion's leadership. In March 2013, the coalition government dissolved, rebels seized the capital, and President BOZIZE fled the country. Rebel leader Michel DJOTODIA assumed the presidency and the following month established a National Transitional Council (CNT). In January 2014, the CNT elected Catherine SAMBA-PANZA as interim president. Elections completed in March 2016 installed independent candidate Faustin-Archange TOUADERA as president; he continues to work towards peace between the government and armed groups, and is developing a disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, and repatriation (DDRR) program to reintegrate the armed groups into society.

Geography

Democratic Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
LocationCentral Africa, northeast of Angola
Central Africa, north of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates0 00 N, 25 00 E
7 00 N, 21 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 2,344,858 sq km
land: 2,267,048 sq km
water: 77,810 sq km
total: 622,984 sq km
land: 622,984 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly less than one-fourth the size of the US
slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundariestotal: 10,481 km
border countries (9): Angola 2,646 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of Angola's discontiguous Cabinda Province), Burundi 236 km, Central African Republic 1,747 km, Republic of the Congo 1,229 km, Rwanda 221 km, South Sudan 714 km, Tanzania 479 km, Uganda 877 km, Zambia 2,332 km
total: 5,920 km
border countries (6): Cameroon 901 km, Chad 1,556 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,747 km, Republic of the Congo 487 km, South Sudan 1,055 km, Sudan 174 km
Coastline37 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: since 2011 the DRC has a Common Interest Zone agreement with Angola for the mutual development of off-shore resources
none (landlocked)
Climatetropical; hot and humid in equatorial river basin; cooler and drier in southern highlands; cooler and wetter in eastern highlands; north of Equator - wet season (April to October), dry season (December to February); south of Equator - wet season (November to March), dry season (April to October)
tropical; hot, dry winters; mild to hot, wet summers
Terrainvast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east
vast, flat to rolling plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 726 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pic Marguerite on Mont Ngaliema (Mount Stanley) 5,110 m
mean elevation: 635 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Oubangui River 335 m
highest point: Mont Ngaoui 1,420 m
Natural resourcescobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower, timber
diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower
Land useagricultural land: 11.4%
arable land 3.1%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 8%
forest: 67.9%
other: 20.7% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 8.1%
arable land 2.9%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 5.1%
forest: 36.2%
other: 55.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land110 sq km (2012)
10 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsperiodic droughts in south; Congo River floods (seasonal); active volcanoes in the east along the Great Rift Valley
volcanism: Nyiragongo (elev. 3,470 m), which erupted in 2002 and is experiencing ongoing activity, poses a major threat to the city of Goma, home to a quarter million people; the volcano produces unusually fast-moving lava, known to travel up to 100 km /hr; Nyiragongo has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; its neighbor, Nyamuragira, which erupted in 2010, is Africa's most active volcano; Visoke is the only other historically active volcano
hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds affect northern areas; floods are common
Environment - current issuespoaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation; soil erosion; mining (diamonds, gold, coltan - a mineral used in creating capacitors for electronic devices) causing environmental damage
tap water is not potable; poaching has diminished the country's reputation as one of the last great wildlife refuges; desertification; deforestation
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - notesecond largest country in Africa (after Algeria) and largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa; straddles the equator; has narrow strip of land that controls the lower Congo River and is only outlet to South Atlantic Ocean; dense tropical rain forest in central river basin and eastern highlands
landlocked; almost the precise center of Africa

Demographics

Democratic Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Population81,331,050
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
5,507,257
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 42.2% (male 17,300,707/female 17,024,082)
15-24 years: 21.44% (male 8,747,038/female 8,694,000)
25-54 years: 30.13% (male 12,227,971/female 12,273,304)
55-64 years: 3.58% (male 1,374,050/female 1,535,973)
65 years and over: 2.65% (male 910,456/female 1,243,469) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 40.27% (male 1,114,727/female 1,102,809)
15-24 years: 19.98% (male 553,264/female 547,308)
25-54 years: 32.24% (male 888,304/female 887,348)
55-64 years: 4.04% (male 101,306/female 120,964)
65 years and over: 3.47% (male 74,516/female 116,711) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 18.4 years
male: 18.1 years
female: 18.6 years (2016 est.)
total: 19.6 years
male: 19.3 years
female: 19.9 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate2.42% (2016 est.)
2.12% (2016 est.)
Birth rate34.2 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
34.7 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate9.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
13.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 69.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 73.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 66.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 88.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 95.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 80.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 57.3 years
male: 55.8 years
female: 58.9 years (2016 est.)
total population: 52.3 years
male: 51 years
female: 53.7 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate4.53 children born/woman (2016 est.)
4.36 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.85% (2015 est.)
3.7% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
noun: Central African(s)
adjective: Central African
Ethnic groupsover 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes - Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) make up about 45% of the population
Baya 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%, Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M'Baka 4%, Yakoma 4%, other 2%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS374,100 (2015 est.)
118,800 (2015 est.)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Muslim 10%, other (includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs) 10%
indigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim 15%
note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority
HIV/AIDS - deaths21,700 (2015 est.)
7,800 (2015 est.)
LanguagesFrench (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba
French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba
total population: 63.8%
male: 78.1%
female: 50% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 36.8%
male: 50.7%
female: 24.4% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and trypanosomiasis-gambiense (African sleeping sickness)
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 9 years
male: 10 years
female: 8 years (2013)
total: 7 years
male: 8 years
female: 6 years (2012)
Education expenditures2.2% of GDP (2013)
1.2% of GDP (2011)
Urbanizationurban population: 42.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.96% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 40% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.59% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 81.1% of population
rural: 31.2% of population
total: 52.4% of population
unimproved:
urban: 18.9% of population
rural: 68.8% of population
total: 47.6% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 89.6% of population
rural: 54.4% of population
total: 68.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 10.4% of population
rural: 45.6% of population
total: 31.5% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 28.5% of population
rural: 28.7% of population
total: 28.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 71.5% of population
rural: 71.3% of population
total: 71.3% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 43.6% of population
rural: 7.2% of population
total: 21.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 56.4% of population
rural: 92.8% of population
total: 78.2% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationKINSHASA (capital) 11.587 million; Lubumbashi 2.015 million; Mbuji-Mayi 2.007 million; Kananga 1.169 million; Kisangani 1.04 million; Bukavu 832,000 (2015)
BANGUI (capital) 794,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate693 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
882 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight23.4% (2014)
23.5% (2011)
Health expenditures4.3% of GDP (2014)
4.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density9 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
0.05 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Hospital bed density0.8 beds/1,000 population (2006)
1 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate3.7% (2014)
4.4% (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 8,284,395
percentage: 42% (2010 est.)
total number: 532,518
percentage: 47% (2006 est.)
Demographic profileDespite a wealth of fertile soil, hydroelectric power potential, and mineral resources, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) struggles with many socioeconomic problems, including high infant and maternal mortality rates, malnutrition, poor vaccination coverage, lack of access to improved water sources and sanitation, and frequent and early fertility. Ongoing conflict, mismanagement of resources, and a lack of investment have resulted in food insecurity; almost 30 percent of children under the age of 5 are malnourished. The overall coverage of basic public services – education, health, sanitation, and potable water – is very limited and piecemeal, with substantial regional and rural/urban disparities. Fertility remains high at almost 5 children per woman and is likely to remain high because of the low use of contraception and the cultural preference for larger families.
The DRC is a source and host country for refugees. Between 2012 and 2014, more than 119,000 Congolese refugees returned from the Republic of Congo to the relative stability of northwest DRC, but more than 540,000 Congolese refugees remained abroad as of year-end 2015. In addition, more than 1.7 million Congolese are internally displaced, the vast majority fleeing violence in the DRC’s eastern provinces between rebel group and Congolese armed forces. Thousands of refugees have come to the DRC from neighboring countries, including Rwanda, the Central African Republic, and Burundi.
The Central African Republic’s (CAR) humanitarian crisis has worsened since a coup in March 2013. CAR’s high mortality rate and low life expectancy are attributed to elevated rates of preventable and treatable diseases (including malaria and malnutrition), an inadequate health care system, precarious food security, and armed conflict. Some of the worst mortality rates are in western CAR’s diamond mining region, which is impoverished because of government attempts to control the diamond trade and the fall in industrial diamond prices. To make matters worse, the government and international donors have reduced health funding in recent years. The CAR’s weak educational system and low literacy rate have also suffered as a result of the country’s ongoing conflict. Schools are closed, qualified teachers are scarce, infrastructure, funding, and supplies are lacking and subject to looting, and many students and teachers are displaced by violence.
Rampant poverty, human rights violations, unemployment, poor infrastructure, and a lack of security and stability have led to forced displacement internally and externally. Since the political crisis that resulted in CAR’s March 2013 coup began in December 2012, approximately 370,000 people have fled to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and other neighboring countries, while an estimated 385,000 are displaced internally. The UN has urged countries to refrain from repatriating CAR refugees amid the heightened lawlessness.
Contraceptive prevalence rate20.4% (2013)
15.2% (2010/11)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 95.9
youth dependency ratio: 90.1
elderly dependency ratio: 5.8
potential support ratio: 17.2 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 75.2
youth dependency ratio: 68.4
elderly dependency ratio: 6.8
potential support ratio: 14.8 (2015 est.)

Government

Democratic Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Country name"conventional long form: Democratic Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: DRC
local long form: Republique Democratique du Congo
local short form: RDC
former: Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo/Leopoldville, Congo/Kinshasa, Zaire
abbreviation: DRC
etymology: named for the Congo River, most of which lies within the DRC; the river name derives from Kongo, a Bantu kingdom that occupied its mouth at the time of Portuguese discovery in the late 15th century and whose name stems from its people the Bakongo, meaning ""hunters""
"
"conventional long form: Central African Republic
conventional short form: none
local long form: Republique Centrafricaine
local short form: none
former: Ubangi-Shari, Central African Empire
abbreviation: CAR
etymology: self-descriptive name specifying the country's location on the continent; ""Africa"" is derived from the Roman designation of the area corresponding to present-day Tunisia ""Africa terra,"" which meant ""Land of the Afri"" (the tribe resident in that area), but which eventually came to mean the entire continent
"
Government typesemi-presidential republic
presidential republic
Capitalname: Kinshasa
geographic coordinates: 4 19 S, 15 18 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Bangui
geographic coordinates: 4 22 N, 18 35 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions26 provinces (provinces, singular - province); Bas-Uele (Lower Uele), Equateur, Haut-Katanga (Upper Katanga), Haut-Lomami (Upper Lomami), Haut-Uele (Upper Uele), Ituri, Kasai, Kasai-Central, Kasai-Oriental (East Kasai), Kinshasa, Kongo Central, Kwango, Kwilu, Lomami, Lualaba, Mai-Ndombe, Maniema, Mongala, Nord-Kivu (North Kivu), Nord-Ubangi (North Ubangi), Sankuru, Sud-Kivu (South Kivu), Sud-Ubangi (South Ubangi), Tanganyika, Tshopo, Tshuapa
14 prefectures (prefectures, singular - prefecture), 2 economic prefectures* (prefectures economiques, singular - prefecture economique), and 1 commune**; Bamingui-Bangoran, Bangui**, Basse-Kotto, Haute-Kotto, Haut-Mbomou, Kemo, Lobaye, Mambere-Kadei, Mbomou, Nana-Grebizi*, Nana-Mambere, Ombella-Mpoko, Ouaka, Ouham, Ouham-Pende, Sangha-Mbaere*, Vakaga
Independence30 June 1960 (from Belgium)
13 August 1960 (from France)
National holidayIndependence Day, 30 June (1960)
Republic Day, 1 December (1958)
Constitutionseveral previous; latest adopted 13 May 2005, approved by referendum 18-19 December 2005, promulgated 18 February 2006; amended 2011 (2016)
several previous; latest adopted by referendum in December 2015 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system primarily based on Belgian law, but also customary, and tribal law
civil law system based on the French model
Suffrage18 years of age; universal and compulsory
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Joseph KABILA (since 17 January 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Bruno TSHIBALA (since 7 April 2017); Deputy Prime Ministers Jose MAKILA, Leonard She OKITUNDU, Emmanuel RAMAZANI Shadary (since December 2016)
cabinet: Ministers of State appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 28 November 2011 (next originally scheduled for 27 November 2016 but expected by end of 2017 per agreement between the government and opposition); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Joseph KABILA reelected president; percent of vote - Joseph KABILA (PPRD) 49%, Etienne TSHISEKEDI (UDPS) 32.3%, other 18.7%; note - election marred by serious voting irregularities
chief of state: President Faustin-Archange TOUADERA (since 30 March 2016)
head of government: Prime Minister Simplice SARANDJI (since 2 April 2016)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: under the new constitution, the president is elected by universal direct sufferage for a period of 5 years renewable for a second term; last election was held 20 February 2016 (next to be held April 2021)
election results: First round held on 30 December 2015, percent of vote - Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE (URCA) 23.7%, Faustin-Archange TOUADERA (independent) 19.1%, Desire KOLINGBA (RDC) 12.0%, Martin ZIGUELE (MLPC) 11.4%, other 33.8%; second round held on 20 February 2016, percent of vote - Faustin-Archange TOUADERA (independent) 62.7%, Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE (URCA) 37.3%
note: rebel forces seized the capital in March 2013, forcing former President BOZIZE to flee the country; Interim President Michel DJOTODIA assumed the presidency, reinstated the prime minister, and established a National Transitional Council (CNT) in April 2013; the NTC elected Catherine SAMBA-PANZA interim president in January 2014 to serve until February 2015 when new elections were to be held; her term was extended because instability delayed new elections and the transition did not take place until the end of March 2016
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Senate (108 seats; members indirectly elected by provincial assemblies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms) and the National Assembly (500 seats; 439 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 61 directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 19 January 2007 (follow-on elections have been delayed); National Assembly - last held on 28 November 2011 (next originally scheduled for 27 November 2016, postponed until April 2018)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPRD 22, MLC 14, FR 7, RCD 7, PDC 6, CDC 3, MSR 3, PALU 2, independent 26, other 18; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPRD 62, UDPS 41, PPPD 29, MSR 27, MLC 22, PALU 19, UNC 17, ARC 16, AFDC 15, ECT 11, RRC 11, independent 16, other 214 (includes numerous political parties that won 10 or fewer seats and 2 constituencies where voting was halted); note - the November 2011 election was marred by violence including the destruction of ballots in two constituencies resulting in the closure of polling sites; election results were delayed three months, strongly contested, and continue to be unresolved
description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (131 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held February 2016 and 31 March 2016 (next election to be held in 2021)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UNDP 13, URCA 13, RDC 10, MLPC 9, KNK 7, independents 56, other 23
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation (consists of 26 justices and organized into legislative and judiciary sections); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges nominated by the Judicial Service Council, an independent body of public prosecutors and selected judges of the lower courts; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges - 3 nominated by the president, 3 by the Judicial Service Council, and 3 by the legislature; judges appointed by the president to serve 9-year non-renewable terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: State Security Court; Court of Appeals (organized into administrative and judiciary sections); Tribunal de Grande; magistrates' courts; customary courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges, at least 3 of whom are women)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president; Constitutional Court judge appointments - 2 by the president, 1 by the speaker of the National Assembly, 2 elected by their peers, 2 are advocates elected by their peers, and 2 are law professors elected by their peers; judges serve 7-year non-renewable terms
subordinate courts: high courts; magistrates' courts
Political parties and leadersChristian Democrat Party or PDC [Jose ENDUNDO]
Congolese Rally for Democracy or RCD [Azarias RUBERWA]
Convention of Christian Democrats or CDC
Forces of Renewal or FR [Mbusa NYAMWISI]
Movement for the Liberation of the Congo or MLC [Jean-Pierre BEMBA]
People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy or PPRD [Henri MOVA]
Social Movement for Renewal or MSR [Pierre LUMBI]
Unified Lumumbist Party or PALU [Antoine GIZENGA]
Union for the Congolese Nation or UNC [Vital KAMERHE]
Union for Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS [Felix TSHISEKEDI]
Action Party for Development or PAD
Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP [Clement BELIBANGA]
Central African Democratic Rally or RDC [Desire Nzanga KOLINGBA]
Movement for Democracy and Development or MDD [Louis PAPENIAH]
Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People or MLPC [Martin ZIGUELE]
National Convergence (also known as Kwa Na Kwa) or KNK [Francois BOZIZE]
National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Amine MICHEL]
New Alliance for Progress or NAP [Jean-Jacques DEMAFOUTH]
Social Democratic Party or PSD [Enoch LAKOUE]
Union for Central African Renewal or URCA [Anicet-Georges DOLOGUELE]
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, CEMAC, CEPGL, COMESA, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, EITI (compliant country) (suspended), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Francois Nkuna BALUMUENE (since 23 September 2015)
chancery: 1726 M Street, NW, Suite 601, Washington, DC, 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 234-7690 through 7691
FAX: [1] (202) 234-2609
representative office: New York New York
chief of mission: Ambassador Stanislas MOUSSA-KEMBE (since 24 August 2009)
chancery: 2704 Ontario Road NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 483-7800
FAX: [1] (202) 332-9893
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Robert WHITEHEAD (since January 2016)
embassy: 310 Avenue des Aviateurs, Kinshasa, Gombe
mailing address: Unit 2220, DPO AE 09828
telephone: [243] (081) 556-0151
FAX: [243] (081) 556-0175
chief of mission: Ambassador Jeffrey HAWKINS (30 October 2015)
embassy: Avenue David Dacko, Bangui
mailing address: P.O. Box 924, Bangui
telephone: [236] 21 61 0200
FAX: [236] 21 61 4494
note: embassy operations suspended in December 2012; resumed limited operations on 15 Septermber 2014
Flag descriptionsky blue field divided diagonally from the lower hoist corner to upper fly corner by a red stripe bordered by two narrow yellow stripes; a yellow, five-pointed star appears in the upper hoist corner; blue represents peace and hope, red the blood of the country's martyrs, and yellow the country's wealth and prosperity; the star symbolizes unity and the brilliant future for the country
four equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, green, and yellow with a vertical red band in center; a yellow five-pointed star to the hoist side of the blue band; banner combines the Pan-African and French flag colors; red symbolizes the blood spilled in the struggle for independence, blue represents the sky and freedom, white peace and dignity, green hope and faith, and yellow tolerance; the star represents aspiration towards a vibrant future
National anthem"name: ""Debout Congolaise"" (Arise Congolese)
lyrics/music: Joseph LUTUMBA/Simon-Pierre BOKA di Mpasi Londi
note: adopted 1960; replaced when the country was known as Zaire; but readopted in 1997
"
"name: ""Le Renaissance"" (The Renaissance)
lyrics/music: Barthelemy BOGANDA/Herbert PEPPER
note: adopted 1960; Barthelemy BOGANDA wrote the anthem's lyrics and was the first prime minister of the autonomous French territory
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)leopard; national colors: sky blue, red, yellow
elephant; national colors: blue, white, green, yellow, red
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: least one parent must be a citizen of the Central African Republic
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 35 years

Economy

Democratic Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Economy - overviewThe economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - a nation endowed with vast natural resource wealth - continues to struggle.

Systemic corruption since independence in 1960, combined with countrywide instability and conflict that began in the early-90s, has dramatically reduced national output and government revenue and increased external debt. With the installation of a transitional government in 2003 after peace accords, economic conditions slowly began to improve as the transitional government reopened relations with international financial institutions and international donors, and President KABILA began implementing reforms.

Renewed activity in the mining sector, the source of most export income, boosted Kinshasa's fiscal position and GDP growth, but low commodity prices are leading to slower growth, rising inflation, and a growing fiscal deficit. An uncertain legal framework, corruption, and a lack of transparency in government policy are long-term problems for the large mining sector and for the economy as a whole.

Much economic activity still occurs in the informal sector and is not reflected in GDP data. The DRC signed a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility with the IMF in 2009 and received $12 billion in multilateral and bilateral debt relief in 2010, but, at the end of 2012, the IMF suspended the last three payments under the loan facility - worth $240 million - because of concerns about the lack of transparency in mining contracts. In 2012, the DRC updated its business laws by adhering to OHADA, the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa. The price of copper – the DRC’s primary export - plummeted in 2015 and remained at record lows during 2016, reducing government revenues, expenditures, and foreign exchange reserves.
Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry and mining, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with about 60% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates more than half of GDP. Timber and diamonds account for most export earnings, followed by cotton. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR's landlocked geography, poor transportation system, largely unskilled work force, and legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies. Factional fighting between the government and its opponents remains a drag on economic revitalization. Distribution of income is extraordinarily unequal. Grants from France and the international community can only partially meet humanitarian needs.

Since 2009, the IMF has worked closely with the government to institute reforms that have resulted in some improvement in budget transparency, but other problems remain. The government's additional spending in the run-up to the 2011 election worsened CAR's fiscal situation. In 2012, the World Bank approved $125 million in funding for transport infrastructure and regional trade, focused on the route between CAR's capital and the port of Douala in Cameroon. In July 2016, the IMF approved a three-year extended credit facility valued at $116 million. The World Bank in late 2016 approved a $20 million grant to restore basic fiscal management, improve transparency, and assist with economic recovery.

Kimberley Process participants partially lifted the ban on diamond exports from the country in 2015, but persistent insecurity will prevent GDP from recovering to its pre-2013 level.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$65.04 billion (2016 est.)
$63.51 billion (2015 est.)
$59.4 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$3.206 billion (2016 est.)
$3.048 billion (2015 est.)
$2.908 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate2.4% (2016 est.)
6.9% (2015 est.)
9.5% (2014 est.)
5.2% (2016 est.)
4.8% (2015 est.)
1% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$800 (2016 est.)
$800 (2015 est.)
$700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$700 (2016 est.)
$600 (2015 est.)
$600 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 20.1%
industry: 31.7%
services: 48.1% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 58%
industry: 11.7%
services: 30.3% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line63% (2012 est.)
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 34.7% (2006)
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 33% (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.6% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2015 est.)
3.3% (2016 est.)
4.5% (2015 est.)
Labor force31.08 million (2016 est.)
2.421 million (2016 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
8% (2001 est.)
note: 23% unemployment in the capital, Bangui
Budgetrevenues: $5.448 billion
expenditures: $5.837 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $207.1 million
expenditures: $284.7 million (2016 est.)
Industriesmining (copper, cobalt, gold, diamonds, coltan, zinc, tin, tungsten), mineral processing, consumer products (textiles, plastics, footwear, cigarettes), metal products, processed foods and beverages, timber, cement, commercial ship repair
gold and diamond mining, logging, brewing, sugar refining
Industrial production growth rate1.2% (2016 est.)
3.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscoffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, cotton, cocoa, quinine, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, plantains, peanuts, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products
cotton, coffee, tobacco, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
Exports$9.316 billion (2016 est.)
$10.35 billion (2015 est.)
$77 million (2016 est.)
$70.5 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesdiamonds, copper, gold, cobalt, wood products, crude oil, coffee
diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee
Exports - partnersChina 48%, Zambia 17.2%, South Korea 5.4%, Belgium 5.2% (2015)
Norway 52.2%, China 14.1%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 8.3% (2015)
Imports$10.2 billion (2016 est.)
$10.46 billion (2015 est.)
$375.3 million (2016 est.)
$360.4 million (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfoodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels
food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Imports - partnersChina 22.2%, South Africa 16.1%, Zambia 8.3%, Belgium 7.5%, Zimbabwe 5.6%, India 5.1%, France 4.3% (2015)
Norway 39.3%, France 6.8%, US 4.6% (2015)
Debt - external$5.331 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.106 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$686.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$661.9 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesCongolese francs (CDF) per US dollar -
971.6 (2016 est.)
925.99 (2015 est.)
925.99 (2014 est.)
925.23 (2013 est.)
920.25 (2012 est.)
Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
605.7 (2016 est.)
591.45 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Current Account Balance-$1.83 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.504 billion (2015 est.)
-$159 million (2016 est.)
-$144 million (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$39.82 billion (2016 est.)
$1.782 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$NA
Central bank discount rate4% (31 December 2012)
20% (31 December 2011)
4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate19.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
19.37% (31 December 2015 est.)
15.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
15.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$3.701 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.381 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$521.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$444.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.212 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.213 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$392.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$340.9 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$5.018 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.402 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$500.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$426.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues13.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
11.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1% of GDP (2016 est.)
-4.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 73.6%
government consumption: 13.9%
investment in fixed capital: 21%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 23.7%
imports of goods and services: -32.3% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 108.3%
government consumption: 9.1%
investment in fixed capital: 10.4%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 12.7%
imports of goods and services: -40.5% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving14.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
15.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
27.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
6.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
4.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
4.6% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

Democratic Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Electricity - production8.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
200 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption9.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
200 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports69 million kWh (2014 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports1.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Oil - production20,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports20,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves180 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves991.1 million cu m (1 January 2016 es)
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Natural gas - production8.495 million cu m (2011 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption8.495 million cu m (2011 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity2.6 million kW (2014 est.)
44,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels1.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
43.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants98.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
56.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption24,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
3,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports22,250 bbl/day (2013 est.)
2,828 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy1.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
400,000 Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 61,400,000
electrification - total population: 9%
electrification - urban areas: 19%
electrification - rural areas: 2% (2013)
population without electricity: 4,500,000
electrification - total population: 3%
electrification - urban areas: 5%
electrification - rural areas: 1% (2013)

Telecommunications

Democratic Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 59,534
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (July 2012 est.)
total subscriptions: 1,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 37.753 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 48 (July 2015 est.)
total: 982,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: barely adequate wire and microwave radio relay service in and between urban areas; domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations; inadequate fixed-line infrastructure
domestic: state-owned operator providing less than 1 fixed-line connection per 100 persons; given the backdrop of a wholly inadequate fixed-line infrastructure, the use of mobile-cellular services has surged and mobile teledensity is over 45 per 100 persons
international: country code - 243; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
general assessment: network consists principally of microwave radio relay and low-capacity, low-powered radiotelephone communication
domestic: very limited telephone service with less than 1 fixed-line connection per 100 persons; spurred by the presence of multiple mobile-cellular service providers, cellular usage is increasing from a low base; most fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone services are concentrated in Bangui
international: country code - 236; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
Internet country code.cd
.cf
Internet userstotal: 3.016 million
percent of population: 3.8% (July 2015 est.)
total: 246,000
percent of population: 4.6% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediastate-owned TV broadcast station with near national coverage; more than a dozen privately owned TV stations - 2 with near national coverage; 2 state-owned radio stations are supplemented by more than 100 private radio stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are available (2007)
government-owned network, Radiodiffusion Television Centrafricaine, provides limited domestic TV broadcasting; state-owned radio network is supplemented by a small number of privately owned broadcast stations as well as a few community radio stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are available (2017)

Transportation

Democratic Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Roadwaystotal: 153,497 km
paved: 2,794 km
unpaved: 150,703 km (2004)
total: 20,278 km
paved: 1,385 km
unpaved: 18,893 km (2010)
Waterways15,000 km (including the Congo, its tributaries, and unconnected lakes) (2011)
2,800 km (the primary navigable river is the Ubangi, which joins the River Congo; it was the traditional route for the export of products because it connected with the Congo-Ocean railway at Brazzaville; because of the warfare on both sides of the River Congo from 1997, importers and exporters preferred routes through Cameroon) (2011)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Banana
river or lake port(s): Boma, Bumba, Kinshasa, Kisangani, Matadi, Mbandaka (Congo); Kindu (Lualaba); Bukavu, Goma (Lake Kivu); Kalemie (Lake Tanganyika)
river port(s): Bangui (Oubangui); Nola (Sangha)
Airports198 (2013)
39 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 26
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 172
1,524 to 2,437 m: 20
914 to 1,523 m: 87
under 914 m: 65 (2013)
total: 37
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 19
under 914 m: 6 (2013)

Military

Democratic Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Military branchesArmed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Forces d'Armees de la Republique Democratique du Congo, FARDC): Army, National Navy (La Marine Nationale), Congolese Air Force (Force Aerienne Congolaise, FAC) (2011)
Central African Armed Forces (Forces Armees Centrafricaines, FACA): Ground Forces (includes Military Air Service), General Directorate of Gendarmerie Inspection (DGIG), National Police (2017)
Military service age and obligation18-45 years of age for voluntary and compulsory military service (2012)
18 years of age for military service; no conscription (2017)

Transnational Issues

Democratic Republic of the CongoCentral African Republic
Disputes - internationalheads of the Great Lakes states and UN pledged in 2004 to abate tribal, rebel, and militia fighting in the region, including northeast Congo, where the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), organized in 1999, maintains over 16,500 uniformed peacekeepers; members of Uganda's Lords Resistance Army forces continue to seek refuge in Congo's Garamba National Park as peace talks with the Uganda Government evolve; the location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Republic of the Congo is indefinite except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area; Uganda and DRC dispute Rukwanzi Island in Lake Albert and other areas on the Semliki River with hydrocarbon potential; boundary commission continues discussions over Congolese-administered triangle of land on the right bank of the Lunkinda River claimed by Zambia near the DRC village of Pweto; DRC accuses Angola of shifting monuments
periodic skirmishes persist over water and grazing rights among related pastoral populations along the border with southern Sudan
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 245,052 (Rwanda) (2016); 102,802 (Central African Republic); 79,495 (South Sudan); 39,919 (Burundi) (2017)
IDPs: 2.2 million (fighting between government forces and rebels since mid-1990s; most IDPs are in eastern provinces) (2016)
IDPs: 503,600 (clashes between army and rebel groups since 2005; tensions between ethnic groups) (2017)
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a source, destination, and possibly a transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the majority of this trafficking is internal, and much of it is perpetrated by armed groups and rogue government forces outside official control in the country's unstable eastern provinces; Congolese adults are subjected to forced labor, including debt bondage, in unlicensed mines, and women may be forced into prostitution; Congolese women and girls are subjected to forced marriages where they are vulnerable to domestic servitude or sex trafficking, while children are forced to work in agriculture, mining, mineral smuggling, vending, portering, and begging; Congolese women and children migrate to countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe where some are subjected to forced prostitution, domestic servitude, and forced labor in agriculture and diamond mining; indigenous and foreign armed groups, including the Lord’s Resistance Army, abduct and forcibly recruit Congolese adults and children to serve as laborers, porters, domestics, combatants, and sex slaves; some elements of the Congolese national army (FARDC) also forced adults to carry supplies, equipment, and looted goods, but no cases of the FARDC recruiting child soldiers were reported in 2014 – a significant change
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - The Democratic Republic of the Congo does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government took significant steps to hold military and police officials complicit in human trafficking accountable with convictions for sex slavery and arrests of armed group commanders for the recruitment and use of child soldiers; the government appears to have ceased the recruitment of child soldiers through the implementation of a UN-backed action plan; little effort was made to address labor and sex trafficking crimes committed by persons other than officials, or to identify the victims, or to provide or refer the victims to care services; awareness of various forms of trafficking is limited among law enforcement personnel and training and resources are inadequate to conduct investigations (2015)
current situation: Central African Republic (CAR) is a source, transit, and destination country for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking, women subjected to forced prostitution, and adults subjected to forced labor; most victims appear to be CAR citizens exploited within the country, with a smaller number transported back forth between the CAR and nearby countries; armed groups operating in the CAR, including those aligned with the former Seleka Government and the Lord’s Resistance Army, continue to recruit and re-recruit children for military activities and labor; children are also subject to domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, and forced labor in agriculture, mines, shops, and street vending; women and girls are subject to domestic servitude, sexual slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, and forced marriage
tier rating: Tier 3 – the Central African Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government conducted a limited number of investigations and prosecutions of cases of suspected human trafficking in 2014 but did not identify, provide protection to, or refer to care providers any trafficking victims; the government did not directly provide reintegration programs for demobilized child soldiers, leaving victims vulnerable to further exploitation or retrafficking by armed groups, including those affiliated with the government; in 2014, an NGO and the government began drafting a national action plan against trafficking but no efforts were reported to establish a policy against child soldiering or to raise awareness about existing laws prohibiting the use of children in the armed forces (2015)

Source: CIA Factbook