Jean-Bedel Bokassa

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Bokassa, Jean-Bedel


Born Feb. 22, 1921, in Bobangi. Statesman of the Central African Republic; brigadier general (since December 1967).

From 1939 to 1962, Bokassa served in the French Army. In 1960 he was appointed chief of the military cabinet in the office of the president of the Central African Republic. Since 1964 he has been chief of the armed forces general staff. Since Jan. 1, 1966, he has been president of the republic and head of government. He simultaneously holds (1970) the positions of minister of national defense, minister of information, and chief of the armed forces general staff and is head of the party Movement for Social Evolution in Black Africa. In July 1970 he made an official visit to the USSR.

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The Central African Republic is still scarred by the deeds of the Emperor Bokassa who ruled in the 1970s.
And then there was Jean-Bedel Bokassa, president of the Central African Republic, later known as Emperor Bokassa I of the Central African Empire.
Older readers may remember the 14-year rule of Jean Bedel Bokassa who started as a colonel and translated himself into Emperor Bokassa in 1972, with a coronation designed to rival that of his hero, Napoleon.
But you DO see blokes like the late Emperor Bokassa and Idi Amin, Indonesian despots and South American dictators brilliant in braid, plated with medals, their military used only to oppress their own people.
Try these for size: The most expensive pair of shoes ever commissioned were for the emperor Bokassa of the then Central African Empire.
When I first heard that former French President, Valery Giscard D'Estaing, pal of the cannibal Emperor Bokassa, was to be its chief architect, I had my doubts.
His earliest images were produced in a period of coups, violence, political instability, and the brutal reign and deposition of the self-declared emperor Bokassa.
Was President Clinton to Nawaz Sharif what Valery Giscard D'estaing, the former French president, was to Emperor Bokassa of the Central African Empire?
He was ousted in a French-backed coup in 1979 after a bizarre rule that included proclaiming himself Emperor Bokassa I three years earlier.
Thus Israel supported the brutal and tyrannical regimes of Idi Amin in Uganda, Mobutu in Zaire, and the Megalomanic emperor Bokassa (recently released from jail) in the Central African Republic.
Emperor Bokassa, president for life and later the emperor of the Central African Republic from 1966 to 1979, was probably the most bizarre leader to have ever existed on the African continent.