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The Central African Republic (CAR) is a former colony of France that has withstood military, economic, and political turmoil since becoming an independent nation in 1960. A landlocked country with an area of approximately 240,000 square miles, it is bordered by Chad to the north, Sudan to the northeast, South Sudan in the east, Democratic Republic of the Congo to the south, and Cameroon to the west. The climate is generally tropical, with a wet season that lasts from June to September.

In 2009, the estimated population of the CAR was 4.7 million. There are more than 80 ethnic groups, each having its own language. Of these, the largest are the Baya, Banda, Mandjia, Sara, Mboum, and Yakoma. Others include Europeans of primarily French descent. The ...

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