In Paris, the Central African Empire ambassador has claimed that reports of a massacre of children in his country last month (April) are true.
In Paris, the Central African Empire ambassador has claimed that reports of a massacre of children in his country last month (April) are true. At a press conference on Tuesday (22 May), the ambassador - General Sylvestre Bangui - said that some 100 children had been killed by Emperor Bokassa's security forces this year. This statement backed up charges made last week by Amnesty International - the London-based human rights organisation - claiming that some of the massacred children had been as young as eight years old. The dead were reported to have been among protestors against compulsory school uniforms. But Emperor Bokassa has described the massacre report as a slanderous campaign of lies.
SYNOPSIS: The Emperor spoke to reporter on Monday (21 May) in the Rwandan capital of Kigali where he was attending a Franco-African summit. He denied that children had been killed but said students had died in a revolt which he claimed foreign revolutionaries had inspired. He demanded that Amnesty International provide proof to support its allegations.
Ambassador Bangui told journalists in Paris that he had resigned and was seeking political asylum in France. He said he had decided to publicly accuse Emperor Bokassa's security forces after receiving a number of independent accounts of the killings during a recent trip to his country. Mr. Bangui did not specify the ages of the children involved, but said he could confirm all the details of the Amnesty report.
The ambassador said soldiers had been ordered to shoot into a crowd of children marching peacefully. He was applauded by embassy staff when he told reporters he would now set up an opposition movement to seek the peaceful liberation of his country.