A French Ministerial statement on Wednesday (23 May) says the country is suspending military aid to the Central African Empire until results of an inquiry into an alleged massacre of children are published.
GV: Ambassador's residence in Paris.
CU: Central African Empire Ambassador to France, General Sylvestre Bangui, speaking in French to newsmen. (4 shots)
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Background: A French Ministerial statement on Wednesday (23 May) says the country is suspending military aid to the Central African Empire until results of an inquiry into an alleged massacre of children are published. The decision follows the resignation of the country's Ambassador to France, General Sylvestre bangui, who says that one hundred children have been killed by Emperor Bokassa's security forces this year. General Bangui has announced the creation of a 'Central African Liberation Front' which would work peacefully towards a republic or constitutional monarchy. On Tuesday (22 May) he gave Visnews and exclusive film interview about his plans for the country's future.
SYNOPSIS: The former Ambassador spoke from the Embassy grounds in the Paris suburb of Vesinet. He said he had received independent accounts confirming a report by the London-based human rights organisation, amnesty International, that the children, some of them only eight years old, had been brutally murdered by Emperor Bokassa's troops.
The General said that faced with this massacre in the International Year of the Child, he was ashamed to wear the uniform of the Imperial army. He called on all the world's most famous mothers, including Britain's Queen Elizabeth, and Rosalynn Carter, wife of the United States President, to support his efforts on behalf of his country's children.
General Bangui says his Central African Liberation Front would cut government spending by reducing the country's massive Civil Service. But he said that enough blood had already been spilt in the country and stressed that his struggle for power would be non-violent. The General also called for the support of international organisations and said he was confident of his people's support for his movement.
Emperor Bokassa, has denied reports of a massacre of children, saying the people who died were grown-up youths inspired to riot by a foreign power attempting to overthrow his government. General Bangui has formally rejected these denials.
General Bangui has sought political asylum in France where he will continue plans for the overthrow of Emperor Bokassa. Emperor Bokassa's eldest son, Prince Georges, who lives in exile in Paris, has supported General Bangui's stand, saying a popular revolt could topple his father.
Prince Georges says if the French government stopped its support, estimated at more than half of the Empire's budget, then his father's regime would fall.