In just over a day, rebels seized the Central African Republic's capital, forced the president out of the country and declared the nation had "opened a new page in its history."
But no one knows what the next page will say.
Michel Djotodia, the leader of the rebel alliance, the Seleka, declared himself the new president, and the rebel group says their takeover opens a path for peace and democracy.
Yet questions abound over the future of impoverished, landlocked country -- and what this uprising means for its 5.1 million residents.
Where is the Central African Republic?
The Central African Republic is a landlocked nation in the center of the continent, slightly smaller than Texas. It is bordered by Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A former French colony, it gained independence in August 1960.
Its 5.1 million residents include various ethnic groups who speak several languages. Even though French is the official language, Sango is the primary one.
What has been its form of government?
For the first 30 years, the country was ruled mostly by military governments. Civilian rule was established in 1993 but lasted only 10 years, according to the CIA World Factbook.
In March 2003, then-president Ange-Felix Patasse was deposed in a coup led by Gen. Francois Bozize.
Bozize is now in Cameroon, from which he is seeking to move to another country, the Cameroon government said in a communique dated Monday. The statement said that despite his presence, the country shall adhere to a policy of non-intervention.
How long was Bozize in power?
Two years after he took over in a coup, Bozize called elections in 2005 -- which he won.
In 2011, he was re-elected, but activists said the polling was marred by fraud.
When did the rebellion start?
From the beginning, Bozize did not have full control of the nation. Rebel groups operated, particularly in rural areas.
In December 2012, several of the rebel groups banded together, calling themselves the Seleka, or "coalition" in the Sango language. They accused Bozize of reneging on a peace deal and demanded that he step down.
Slowly, the rebels began taking over parts of the country.
Didn't the two sides strike a new peace deal?
Yes, Bozize and the Seleka brokered a peace deal in January, agreeing to form a unity government led by Bozize.
But that deal also fell apart.
What do the rebels want?
Some say the Seleka want a greater opposition presence in the country's government after Bozize's presidential election wins were met with fraud allegations.
But others say greed is a factor.