Central African Republic - Domestic policy

In addition to the leadership issues mentioned above, the challenge to the Patassé-led government centers on health care, revitalization of the agricultural sector and the continuation of the market-based approach to the pricing of its two key exports, coffee and cotton. The manufacturing sector remains very small (8–11% of GDP), and efforts to encourage its expansion will require additional foreign support and the further development of its potentially large hydro-electric generating capacity.

Unrest and repeated coup attempts have thwarted Patassé's ability to build an efficiently functioning government. Twice during 2001—in May and again in November—the government of Libya sent troops and equipment to assist Patassé in restoring order after dissident factions in the military attempted to take control of the government. The November unrest was triggered after the Patassé government fired a top army commander, General Francis Bozize, and then attempted to arrest him. In late October 2002, unrest plagued the capitol again as fighting broke out between rebel elements and the government. The rebels, led by an exiled Bozize, were defeated by Libyan troops brought in to protect Bangui.

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