Central African Republic

There has been some criticism in the Central African Republic of a ban on misogynistic songs which came into force over the weekend. Communication Minister Fidel Ngouandjika threatened action against the broadcasting of songs that portrayed women as inferior to men. He said they undermined the role of women and contravened their rights. Women only got the vote in the former French colony 20 years ago and men are allowed to marry up to four wives. The BBC's Joseph Benamse in Bangui says th...read more

Most of the 200,000 people internally displaced by the fighting which culminated in the coup d’état of March 2003 have reportedly returned to their homes or integrated with the resident population in the capital Bangui. Following the coup, the self-appointed President François Bozizé abolished the constitution and formed a new transitional government which organised the first and second round of legislative and presidential elections in March and May 2005.

Reporters without Borders (RSF) has hailed a 30 September 2004 announcement by the Central African Republic Association of Private and Independent Newspaper Publishers (Groupement des éditeurs de la presse privée indépendante de Centrafrique, GEPPIC) saying it will no longer publish newspapers on Fridays, beginning 1 October, until President François Bozizé's government keeps a promise to decriminalise press offences.

The government of the Central African Republic (CAR) has launched a "2004-2015 Operational Plan" to reduce maternal and infant mortality. By improving access to health care and providing social support networks, the plan will attempt to reduce the infant mortality rate of children aged less than five years by two-thirds by 2015. In addition, CAR hopes to reduce maternal mortality to one-quarter of its present level within the same time frame.

The Central African Republic became the 100th Member State to sign the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The new international treaty - worked out through a two-year negotiating process supported by the Vienna-based United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) - was adopted by the General Assembly in October 2003. At a special signing conference held in Mérida, Mexico, last December, 95 countries signed the new Convention.