In the Central African Republic, the new President, David Dacko, has released almost three hundred prisoners from Bangui's Ngarabo jail and 37 Libyan military advisors arrested after the coup which deposed Emperor Bokassa were flown home on Wednesday (26 September).
In the Central African Republic, the new President, David Dacko, has released almost three hundred prisoners from Bangui's Ngarabo jail and 37 Libyan military advisors arrested after the coup which deposed Emperor Bokassa were flown home on Wednesday (26 September). President Dacko -- who took over power in a French-backed coup last week -- said that nearly four hundred Libyan soldiers were believed to be hiding in the country. The people of the Central African Republic have meanwhile been discovering the extent of Bokassa's extravagance and escesses.
SYNOPSIS: Emperor Jean Bedel Bokassa lost his crown a week ago. Now he is in exile in the Ivory Coast and the Empire has become a Republic again. But the Presidential "Palais de la Renaissance" stands as a reminder of the man with a love of imperial extravagance, and a harsh ruler who drew criticism form all sides.
His desire for luxury and grandeur is demonstrated throughout the Palace. Many of the fittings were custom made and carry his monogram. Bokassa was a fervent admirer of Napoleon Bonaparte and the palace reflects Bokassa's worship of all things French.
But while some of Bokassa's excesses were regarded as comic, the notorious N' Garabo prison shows the darker side of his nature. His overthrow came a month after an African Commission said he was directly implicated in a massacre of about 150 school children.
The new President, David Dacko, moved swiftly to free all the political prisoners held in N'garabo. Only twenty murderers are now left inside. The prison bears the scars of torture and misery. It was built in 1944 to house 275 prisoners--but at one time as many as fourteen hundred people were crammed into the stone-built cells during Bokassa's fourteen year long rule.