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Throwback: A Flash Back On The Moment When Jean-Bedel Bokassa Was Taken For Napoleon

In a book entitled ” In the secret archives of the Quai d’Orsay “,  one has the opportunity to revisit the requests communicated by Jean-Bedel Bokassa to the French government (1977) in anticipation of his coronation. These requests were published in October 2017. An occasion to relive some moments of the many “delusions” in the quest for eternal power that animated Jean Bedel Bokassa as described so well a Cameroonian scholar.

It was on December 4, 1977 that Jean-Bedel Bokassa ridiculed Africa and especially his country the Central African Republic in the eyes of the world with his rude coronation of emperor budgetivore in Bangui, while his people languished in indescribable misery.


Robert Picquet, the French ambassador to the Central African Republic, whom he had received some time before his coronation, explained in detail the material aid he expected from his ally, France. French President Valéry Giscard D’Estaing, whom Bokassa believed was a strong support at the time, will not take part in the Sacre and will be represented by his Minister of Cooperation, Robert Galley, and his “Monsieur Afrique” René Journiac.

The coronation of Bokassa had been termed by several observers of tedious expense in a period when the Central African Republic was financially drained. It is also the feeling of the French diplomat Robert Galley in a diplomatic note entitled ”  Is not it too much  “.

He concludes his analysis thus: ”  One may wonder if the hero has not pushed too far his advantage … The public is tired, to say the least, of a show represented at the only benefit – or almost – of the leading role.  ”

The whole of the note and the requests of Bokassa are published this month in a book of good quality,  In the secret archives of the Quai d’Orsay.


Written by How Africa

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