Zangali - West Africa
Zangali, officially the République d'Zangali, is a country on the West African coast. It is bordered by Sierra Leone to its north west, Guinea to its north and Liberia to its east. It covers an area of 82.341 square kilometers (31,792 square miles) and is home to 3,8 million people. French is the official language and besides English some indigenous languages are spoken.

The country consists of seven regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the Gola rain-forest (national Park), while the country's southern part, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the North Atlantic Ocean’s coast. The country's economy centers on mining ,agriculture and Rubber plantations. Some of Zangali's prominent natural resources include gold, diamonds, salt and rubber.  About 2/3 of the population lives below the international poverty line of $1.25 (U.S.) a day.

Military base - Port Espoir
The capitol: Batongo
Main shipping harbor: Port Espoir
Major cities: Abate, Mangala, Boka, Sanalé, & Bitu
Airport: aéroport cap d'Afrique
National park: Gola Rain forest

Because of it's colonial history the country still has many old buildings and infrastructure dating back to that time. To protect Zangali's main shipping harbor the French build Fort Port Espoir. To this day the facility is still used, now as a military base.

The coastal area of west Africa has been inhabited by indigenous peoples at least as far back as the 12th century and perhaps earlier. Mende-speaking people expanded westward from the Sudan, forcing many smaller ethnic groups southward toward the Atlantic Ocean.

Later the European trade companies arrived in the area and started to exploit the local resources like gold, pepper, rice and slaves. Many European nations claimed pieces of land resulting in the current lay-out of the map. England, France, Portugal, Spain and Holland all claimed their piece of Africa.

Zangali was originally under French colonial rule from 1843 to 1960. During the 1950s, Zangali nationalists waged war against the French, and the nation eventually declared independence in 1960 and by 1961 all French forces had left the country.

Former Force National d´Zangali colonel Davide Banga immediately seized power in Zangali for the purpose of appointing himself ruler of the country, thus instigating a genocide in which hundreds of thousands of civilians were slaughtered. His very first act of brutality was to attack the French embassy. All embassy personnel was captured, tried in a court with judges appointed by Banga and sentenced to death for treason of the people of Zangali, even the French ambassador was shot dead 2 days after the verdict and before the French government could do anything about it. From then on it was clear that Zangali was a hostile environment for all foreigners. 

For years the people of Zangali were under a reign of terror. President Banga used his army, the “Republican Army Zangali”(RAZ) to firmly stay in power whatever the cost. 

In 1990 when Banga was celebrating his 30 years reign the civil unrest reached peak levels. Poverty, unemployment, crime and fear of the government caused unrest within the civilian population. A group of military officers lead by Colonel Ime Anan seized this opportunity for a military coup and overthrew the Banga government. Anan officially declared that he would only act as president until elections were held. In the next few months all political opponents were arrested on dubious charges and when the elections were finally held the only running candidate was Anan. 
Civil unrest in Zangali
Most people in the North were disappointed with this situation, they had hoped for fair elections because they saw this as an opportunity to do something about the poor living conditions they faced. Again the country was caught up in another civil war between the Anan Government from the south and the Banga supporters who were still present in the north supported by unsatisfied civilians and opportunistic warlords. 
In recent years the war has expanded from the north to the middle of the country tearing it literally apart.

 If you want to read more about the main characters in Zangali you can find that here or have a look at the “People of Zangali” tab at the top of this page.

At the time of the French colonial rule the French Franc was used as currency but when the country became independent in 1961 the Franc was abandoned and replaced with a new currency. 
Zangali’s currency now is the Zangali Dollar, known as “Zanga Dollar” or “Zanga”. It is normally abbreviated $ZAN or Z$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. 

100 Zanga Dollar Bill Featuring President Ime Anan.
Exchange rate;
1 USD =   84,67 $ZAN
1 GBP = 121,62 $ZAN
1 EUR =   95,95 $ZAN

Before 1960 and under French Government foreign companies were welcome to do business and set up local offices and production facilities but with the independence of Zangali all foreign companies had to withdraw from the country because of it’s hostile stance towards all foreign interference and collaboration.
During the late reign of former president Banga, international companies were again allowed to do business in Zangali. President Banga had seen his country spiral into poverty and he had simply been printing more money to compensate the National deficit resulting in a devaluation of the Zangali Dollar. With civil unrest growing rapidly international companies were once again allowed to do business and it wasn’t long before the first ones saw the opportunity to make money of the natural resources and cheap labor.
PMC's in Zangali
But then again the government was overthrown and the situation was uncertain for some time. Banga’s reign was over and president Anan declared that the international companies could continue their business although new taxes had to be agreed. Furthermore the companies were responsible for their property, assets and the safety of their personnel. Because of the new civil war the government could not provide protection. A lot of Private Military Companies (PMC’s) were contracted by the companies and a whole new market opened up. Safety and protection became a new high value product in great demand.   

Blood diamonds - Zangali
While official commodity exports declined since 2009 as many investors fled the civil war, Zangali's wartime economy featured the exploitation of the region's diamond wealth. The country acted as a major trader in  blood diamonds, exporting over US$180 million in diamonds in 2011. This led to a United Nations ban on Zangali diamond exports in 2013.

Gold mining
Zangali's gold mining is not as cost effective as Diamond mining but nevertheless still a good source of income. Gold is much harder to mine because it has to be extracted from the thick hard red clay. For this hard and labor intensive job often the poorest people are set to work. Making hardly any money and under harsh circumstances the Zangali gold is delved by those who profit least of it. The gold goes straight to the national treasury or warlord’s safe and is used to fund military operations by both government and rebels. For a country in civil war there can never be enough gold in the earth or people to get it out.

Rubber extraction
The rubber plantations in the north of the country and near the West Africa's rain forest have existed for nearly a hundred years. These days the harvesting procedure is still as it was then but other products like palm oil have been introduced to the rubber farm's production. Although it's not as lucrative as 50 years ago there is still money to be made and new plantations or extension of existing ones are an immediate threat to the rain forest. All of the plantations are in the North and under firm control of the rebels who use the income to fuel their war against the government. The army therefor often targets the transports to the borders of Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Foreign Relations
Due to current circumstances most foreign relations are difficult to maintain. Western countries don’t want to get involved in the civil war. Neighboring countries have illegal trade with Zangali and some African countries support either president Anan or Lebon Banga. 
United Nations are trying to negotiate a peace and are investigating options for a peacekeepers force.

Corruption is endemic at every level of the Zangali government. When President Anan took office in 2009, he announced that corruption was "the major public enemy". Many old government officials were sent to prison for corruption but many think this was just an easy way to install the new Anan-minded government.Under Anan's reign corruption is still present but now called "A necessary evil". 
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