President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire flew into Paris from Switzerland on Saturday (25 August) for a news conference and denied that his troops were involved in the alleged Central African massacres of children earlier this year.
President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire flew into Paris from Switzerland on Saturday (25 August) for a news conference and denied that his troops were involved in the alleged Central African massacres of children earlier this year. He told the news conference that allegations that Zairean soldiers had taken part in the bloody repression of school demonstrators in Bengui last January were "false, totally false". He said the two Zairean planes in Bangui at the time, were there by chance and did not have troops aboard.
SYNOPSIS: President Mobutu decided to break his holiday to fly to Paris for a day and give the news conference, following the publication of a report by a five-man African commission of inquiry into events in Bangui in January and April. The enquiry was set up after the London-based human rights organisation, Amnesty International, reported in May that about one hundred schoolchildren were brutally murdered by Cental African Emperor Bokassa's security forces. Some of the children were only eight years old according to the communique.
Although the report did not formally accuse Zaire, the Commission Chairman said he had heard allegations that Zairean soldiers had taken part in suppressing the demonstrators. General Mobutu categorically denied th??? saying he had no troops abroad and offered as proof the fact that he had voted for the enquiry at a Franco-African Summit last May.
The commission of enquiry reported that Emperor Bokassa probably took part in the massacres. he crowned himself Emperor in an elaborate ceremony in December nineteen seventy-seven, although his country is one of the world's poorest. The killings allegedly occurred when the parents of the children refused to buy school uniforms from the Emperor's own factories and children stoned his car. Alleged witnesses said that Bokassa himself went to the prison and took part in the sayings himself with unimaginable brutality. Emperor Bokassa denied the whole question when Amnesty International first made the allegations in May.
The Emperor did admit that scores of students were killed in what he called riots, but insisted they were grown-up Marxist students directed by a foreign power, to overthrow the Empire.