Central African Republic – 158th Country.  To see where I have been so far, check out my map as I count down the final 93 countries on the road to all 193 UN countries.  Central African Republic is my 158th Country.

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The Central African Republic is a landlocked country located in central Africa, bordered by Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cameroon. The area that is now the Central African Republic was inhabited by various indigenous groups for centuries before being colonized by France in the late 19th century. The country gained independence in 1960 and has since experienced political instability, coups, and periods of violent conflict. The Central African Republic has significant natural resources, including diamonds, gold, and uranium, but has struggled with poverty and underdevelopment.  In recent years, the Central African Republic has seen the involvement of both the Wagner Group and the United Nations in the country. The Wagner Group is a private military company with ties to the Russian government, and it has been reported to have played a role in supporting the government of the Central African Republic in its fight against rebel groups. The United Nations has been involved in the country through its peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, which has been working to stabilize the country and protect civilians from violence. Despite these efforts, the situation in the Central African Republic remains fragile, with ongoing conflict and humanitarian crises.

As I boarded my flight to Bangui, the capital, I recognized two travel FB friends on my flight.  We spent the following day visiting Boali Falls.  The next day my trip was canceled by my guide to visit a Pygmy Village.  I pivoted and cruised down the Oubangui River which separate CAR from DRC on a wooden pirogue in the hot sun.  And then I checked out the new monument, Monument De La Protection Civile, built in honor of Wagner mercenaries.  During my trip, the airline declined to load my bag on the plane, so I was wearing the same clothes for my trip in 40c weather.  Not a great look (or smell).  The airline on the 3rd day delivered my bag, which I happily retrieved from the airport.  But on the way back in my taxi, a man dove through the window of my moving car to attempt to steal my iPhone.  I am happy to report I still have my phone.

Central African Republic is my 158th Country.

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