Ange-Félix Patassé was President of the Central African Republic from 1993 until 2003, when he was deposed by the rebel leader François Bozizé.
Patassé joined the Central African civil service in 1959, shortly before independence. He became an agricultural engineer and agricultural inspector in the Ministry of Agriculture on 1 July 1963, under President David Dacko. In December 1965, Dacko appointed him Director of Agriculture and Minister of Development. In 1966, Jean-Bédel Bokassa took power in a coup d'état. Patassé was the "cousin" of President Bokassa's principal wife, Catherine Denguiade.
Patassé gained the confidence of the new president and he served in almost all the many governments formed by Bokassa. He served as Minister of Development, Minister of Transport and Energy , Minister of State for Development, Tourism, Transport and Energy, Minister of State for Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Waters, Forests, Hunting, Tourism and Transport, Minister of State for Development, Minister of State for Transport and Commerce, Minister of State for the Organization of Transport by Roads, Rivers and Air, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Minister of State for delegated by the President of the Republic for Rural Development, Minister of State for Public Health and Social Affairs, Minister of State delegated by the President of the Republic for Missions, Minister of State for Tourism, Waters, Forests, Hunting and Fishing, Minister of State serving as Agricultural Councilor for the Head of State, Minister of State for Tourism, Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishing. Patassé was named a member of the Council of the Revolution with the rank of Prime Minister in charge of Posts and Communications, Tourism, Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishing, as well as Custodian of the Seats of State.
Ange-Félix Patassé was born in January 25, 1937 and died on the 5th of April 2011 in Paoua, the capital of the northwestern province of Ouham Pendé in the colony of Ubangi-Shari in French Equatorial Africa and he belonged to the Sara-Kaba ethnic group which predominates in the region around Paoua (Bradshaw 1998). Patassé's father, Paul Ngakoutou, served in the Free French military forces during the Second World War and worked for the colonial administration in the Province of Ouham-Pendé after the war, was a member of the Sara-kaba people and was raised in a small village to the northeast of Boguila, on the road to Markounda. Patassé's mother, Véronique Goumba, belonged to the Kare ethnic group of northwestern Ubangi-Shari. Patassé was thus a sara-kaba on his father's side and a Kare on his mother's side.
He was the President of the Central African Republic from 1993 until 2003, when he was deposed by the rebel leader François Bozizé. Patassé was the first president in the CAR's history (since 1960) to be chosen in what was generally regarded as a fairly democratic election (1993) in that it was brought about by donor pressure on the Kolingba regime and assisted by the UN Electoral Assistance Unit. He was chosen a second time in a fair election (1999) as well.
However, during his first term in office (1993–1999), three military mutinies in 1996-1997 led to increasing conflict between so-called "northerners" (like Patassé) and "southerners" (like his predecessor President André Kolingba). Expatriate mediators and peacekeeping troops were brought in to negotiate peace accords between Patassé and the mutineers and to maintain law and order. During his second term as president, Patassé increasingly lost the support of many of his long-time allies as well as the French, who had intervened to support him during his first term in office. Patassé was ousted in March 2003 and went into exile in Togo.