The recently-crowned Emperor of the Central African Empire, Marshal Jean-Bedel Bokassa, has been in Libreville, the capital of Gabon.
The recently-crowned Emperor of the Central African Empire, Marshal Jean-Bedel Bokassa, has been in Libreville, the capital of Gabon. He was the guest of President Omar Bongo, and attended celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the founding of the nation's only political party and the opening of a monument to its first President, Leon M'ba.
SYNOPSIS: After Emperor Bokassa's plane completed the journey form the Central African Empire to Gabon and touched down in the capital, Libreville, the African continent's only emperor was greeted by the President of Gabon, Omar Bongo and his entourage, including a girl who presented the imperial visitor with a large bouquet. He was visiting to share in the nation's celebrations of the founding, in 1968, of the ruling Democratic Party of Gabon.
The Emperor was also in Gabon for the opening of a monument in Libreville, commemorating the Republic of Gabon's first President, Leon M'ba. Emperor Bokassa told newsmen that he was in Gabon at the invitation of President Bongo, to share in the joy of the Gabonese population celebrating the anniversary of 10 years of social reconstruction.
President Bongo and Emperor Bokassa laid wreaths at the monument to President M'ba and President Bongo made a speech in honour of the politician known to the people of Gabon as "the old man." President M'ba, who spent 13 years under house arrest in the 1930s and 40s for his political views, first came to prominence in 1946, when he founded the joint Franco-Gabonese Committee.
Later he was elected Mayor of Libreville and, when Gabon achieved full internal autonomy in 1958, he became Prime Minister and Head of States. Gabon achieved full independence in 1960. A year later he was elected President of the Republic. In the next few years there was growing friction between him and his deputy, Jean Hilaire Aubame.
In 1964, President M'ba was ousted in a military coup d'etat, which set up a revolutionary committee under Aubame. But with French assistance M'ba regained power. After his death in 1967, he was succeeded by his Vice-president, Omar Bongo.