August 22, 2015

1844 CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - The map of the country

The Central African Republic is a landlocked country, bordered by Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, and Cameroon. Much of the country consists of flat or rolling plateau savanna approximately 500m above sea level. In addition to the Fertit Hills in the northeast, there are scattered hills in the southwest regions. In the northwest is the Yade Massif, a granite plateau with an altitude of 348m. The country also includes a Sahelo-Sudanian zone in the north and an equatorial forest zone in the south. Two thirds of the country is within the Ubangi River basin (which flows into the Congo), while the remaining third lies in the basin of the Chari, which flows into Lake Chad.

What is today the CAR has been inhabited for millennia. The Bouar Megaliths indicate an advanced level of habitation dating back to the very late Neolithic Era (c. 3500-2700 BC). Ironworking arrived in the region around 1000 BC from both Bantu cultures in what is today  Nigeria and from the Nile city of Meroë, the capital of the Kingdom of Kush. During the Bantu Migrations, Ubangian--speaking people spread eastward from Cameroon to Sudan, Bantu-speaking people settled in the southwestern regions of the CAR, and Central Sudanic-speaking people settled along the Ubangi River in what is today Central and East CAR.

During the 16th and 17th centuries Muslim slave traders began to raid the region as part of the expansion of the Saharan and Nile River slave routes. In the mid 19th century, the Bobangi people became major slave traders and sold their captives to the Americas using the Ubangi river to reach the coast. In 1875 the Sudanese sultan Rabih az-Zubayr governed Upper-Oubangui, which included present-day CAR. The European penetration of Central African territory began in the late 19th century during the Scramble for Africa, and France created Ubangi-Shari territory in 1894.

France and Germany divided the territory between them, but after WWI France annexed the whole region. In 1958, Barthélémy Boganda declared the establishment of the Central African Republic and served as the country's first prime minister. Since then, the country experienced dictatorships, coups and a civil war, and even now the situation is far from normal. As a result, despite its significant mineral deposits and other resources, such as uranium reserves, crude oil, gold, diamonds, lumber, and hydropower, as well as significant quantities of arable land, the CAR is among the ten poorest countries in the world.

The country is noted for its population of forest elephants and western lowland gorillas. In the north, the Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park is well-populated with wildlife, including leopards, lions, cheetahs and rhinos, and the Bamingui-Bangoran National Park is located in the northeast of CAR. The almost 5 million of inhabitants of CAR are divided into over 80 ethnic groups, each having its own language. Regarding the religion, about 80% are Christians, and 15% are Muslims. The UN estimates that approximately 11% of the population aged between 15 and 49 is HIV positive.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the series Dogs of the World, about which I wrote here. The second stamp is part of a series dedicated to the soccer.

Central African Republic - Wikipedia

Sender: Fan Zhang
Sent from Bangui (Central African Republic), on 06.04.2015

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