, pub-7771400403364887, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Political Turmoil and the Coup in the Central African Republic (CAR) during 1964-1965

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Political Turmoil and the Coup in the Central African Republic (CAR) during 1964-1965

The period between 1964 and 1965 was a tumultuous time for the Central African Republic (CAR) under President David Dacko. The country faced numerous challenges, including economic stagnation, administrative disarray, and security threats from rebel factions. In an attempt to gain support and assert his foreign policy independence, Dacko established relations with the People's Republic of China. However, corruption and internal power struggles plagued the government. This article explores the sequence of events that led to the coup orchestrated by Jean-Bédel Bokassa against President Dacko.
Bakossa with Mahammar Gadaffi

Stagnant Economy and Eroding Administration (100 words):

During this period, the CAR experienced economic stagnation, exacerbating the country's internal crises. Additionally, administrative inefficiencies led to a breakdown in bureaucracy, further hindering the government's ability to address pressing issues. The boundaries of the CAR were also breached by Lumumbists from the south and the rebel Anyanya from the east, posing significant security challenges. These combined factors created a volatile environment, necessitating swift action from President Dacko.

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Diplomatic Relations with China and Financial Aid 

Under pressure from political radicals within the MESAN and seeking alternative sources of support, President Dacko established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China in September 1964. The Chinese delegation, led by Meng Yieng, showcased communist propaganda films and provided the CAR with an interest-free loan of one billion CFA francs. However, the financial aid failed to alleviate the country's impending financial collapse, which was compounded by widespread political corruption. Bokassa, driven by personal ambition and a desire to eliminate communist influence, saw an opportunity for a coup against Dacko.

Bokassa's Exile and Return:

Bokassa, chosen as part of the CAR delegation for the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, later decided to return home. However, President Dacko initially forbade his return, leading Bokassa to seek support from both French and Central African armed forces. Ultimately, pressure from French President Charles de Gaulle forced Dacko to yield, allowing Bokassa to return in October 1965. Bokassa claimed that de Gaulle's intervention was key in persuading Dacko to reinstate him. Mounting tensions between Dacko and Bokassa set the stage for the coup that would soon unfold.

Escalation of Tensions and Dacko's Planned Replacements 

Tensions between Dacko and Bokassa intensified when Dacko rejected a budget proposal for the army that Bokassa had put forth in December. Dacko planned to replace Bokassa with Izamo as his personal military advisor, while promoting government loyalists within the army. These plans were not concealed, and Bokassa became aware of Dacko's intentions through village elders. Bokassa, fearing the strength of the gendarmerie and the presidential guard, realized he had to act swiftly to maintain control. He also faced concerns about potential French intervention, as seen in previous African coup attempts.

Conspiracy and Support for the Coup 

Bokassa found a key ally in Captain Alexandre Banza, who commanded the Camp Kassaï military base in Bangui and had served in the French Army like Bokassa. Banza played a significant role in planning the coup and provided vital support for its execution. By December, many individuals anticipated the political turmoil that would soon unfold. Dacko's advisors warned him of Bokassa's mental instability and the need to arrest him before he destabilized the government. Unfortunately, Dacko did not heed these warnings, setting the stage for Bokassa and his co-conspirators to take action.


The political landscape in the Central African Republic during 1964 and 1965 was fraught with economic stagnation, administrative disorder, and security threats. President Dacko's attempts to gain alternative support through establishing diplomatic relations with China did little to alleviate the mounting challenges. Jean-Bédel Bokassa, driven by personal ambition and resentment towards communism, ultimately orchestrated a coup against Dacko. The tensions escalated as Dacko planned to replace Bokassa and his associates, leading the conspirators to take swift action. These events marked a turning point in the political history of the CAR, ushering in a new era under Bokassa's leadership.

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