23 March, 2013

Central African Republic: Map of Rebel Advance to Capital

Last January, rebels in the Central African Republic agreed to a ceasefire with the government, after taking over much of the country. Now, despite the formation of a unity government, the ceasefire has broken down and the rebels are once again advancing on the capital and other towns. Read on for a summary of events. Update (March 24, 2013): The Séléka rebel coalition has now taken the national capital, Bangui.
Map of 2012-2013 rebellion in the Central African Republic, showing current rebel control as of March 24, 2013, from the breakdown of the ceasefire up to the capture of the national capital city, Bangui
Advance of Séléka rebels in the Central African Republic, highlighting attacks occurring since the Jan. 11 ceasefire. Map fact-checked and expanded by Evan Centanni from this map by Wikimedia user Keitsist. License: CC BY-SA
Original Article: Central African Republic - Map of Rebel Control

Ceasefire Violations
After reaching a ceasefire with the government on January 11th, the Central African Republic's Séléka rebel coalition began integration into a new unity government, with several rebel leaders receiving prominent positions in President François Bozizé's cabinet. However, the violence did not end completely.

Bands of rebels attacked the southern towns of Dimbi and Kémbé less than two weeks after the ceasefire, and occupied the southern city of Mobaye for two weeks in February before finally withdrawing on the 20th. Another group attacked and took over the northern town of Sido on March 1st. By March 12th, the rebels in the south advanced once again to seize regional capital Bangassou.

Flag of the Central African Republic Country Name:  
• Central African Republic (English)
• Centrafrique (French)
• Bêafrîka (Sango)
Official Name:  
• Central African Republic (English)
• République centrafricaine (French)
•Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka (Sango)
Capital: Bangui
Ceasefire Breakdown
On March 18th, it was reported that the Séléka rebels had "detained" their five ministers from the Central African Republic unity government, and issued a 72-hour deadline for their demands to be met. Sure enough, on March 20th a rebel spokesperson announced that the ceasefire had come to an end.

In the northwest, rebels claimed to capture Bouca and Batangafo soon afterwards (the latter had already been reported taken once in December). In the south, they continued onward toward the capital city of Bangui, seizing the town of Damara despite the presence of a multinational African peacekeeping force, which did not fire a shot. Meanwhile, they had captured yet another regional capital, Bossangoa, in the northwest.

Capital Seized by Rebels (update)
Today, March 24th, the Séléka coalition rebels reportedly took control of the national capital, Bangui, with President Bozizé fleeing across the border into the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It still remains unclear what will happen next. Stay tuned to Political Geography Now for further updates!

Graphic of the flag of the Central African Republic is in the public domain (source).


  1. This is excellent. Thanks for the great public service!

  2. Thanks! Glad you've found it useful!

  3. The rebels are in the capital right now !!

    1. That's right. In fact, they've now reportedly taken control of Bangui. I'll either update this post or make a new post soon.

  4. The map and article have now both been updated for the capture of Bangui!

  5. The colonial powers have deteriorated the geo-political situation in the Central African Republic.All parties involved in the civil war must stop immediately in favour of killing of kids, innocent people.

  6. Great map! truly excellent piece of communication! Do you guys know more about how Seleka is financed and to what degree they have contacts with other regional governments that could be funding and supporting them?

  7. Thanks! The CAR rebels' political connections are outside my area of expertise, so I'm not sure. I seem to remember President Bozizé accusing them of ties to Islamic extremist organizations and maybe also to the government of Sudan, though as far as I can tell those accusations aren't being taken especially seriously in the international community.

  8. "despite the formation of a unity government, ..."

    you can stop reading right there. outside of tanzania, when has a unity government worked in the last 50 or so years? i wish it were so but local conflicts always seem to crop up, from iraq to sudan to spain

  9. I just discovered this website but I am about to become a regular visitor. I am so happy to live in a time when things like this are easily accessable!