Jean Bokassa, the deposed dictator of the Central African Empire has found sanctuary. After spending?
Jean Bokassa, the deposed dictator of the Central African Empire has found sanctuary. After spending two days at a military airfield near Paris, vainly pleading for admission, he has been granted asylum in the Ivory Coast. He flew there on Monday morning (24 September). The Ivory Coast, like the now renamed Central African Republic, is a former French colony. The full extent of French involvement in the coup in Bangui has been revealed by the new President, David Dacko.
SYNOPSIS: In three days this sleepy capital beside the Ubangi River has been freed from one of the most feared rulers in Africa. Now, each evening, troops impose a curfew. It is not that they expect resistance: the so-called Imperial Army has melted away. But civilians, especially the 5,000 whites in the country, need reassurance. Under Bokassa no one was safe.
The Europeans feel safer now that the streets have quietened down. In the first few hours after the coup, there was looting and rioting.
But the people did not toucH Boskassa's palace. Now it is heavily guarded by French troops. And with the French troops came the Central African Republic's new president - David Dacko.
In a news conference Dacko for the first time confirmed the French involvement in the overthrow of Bokassa. The forty-nine year old president said the coup had been planed for two months with the help of France and several other African States.
Dacko, who was himself ousted from power fourteen years ago, by Bokassa, called for the tradition of the self-styled emperor. He wants Bokassa to go on trial in Bangui charged with crimes against humanity said he had proof of Bokassa's involvement in the massacre of more than 100 schoolchildren earlier this year.
And outside the people showed hatred for their deposed leader. A mob pulled down the large bronze statue, amusing themselves with the image of the former army sergeant who was a close friend of another deposed African ruler - Field Marshal Idi Amin of Uganda. Bangui Radio reported the people buried Bokassa's statue at the municipal cemetery.