By Anthony Torres:
Bourgi affair exposes French imperialism’s criminal activities in Africa
22 September 2011
On September 11, lawyer Robert Bourgi revealed in a lengthy interview in the Journal du Dimanche that he acted as go-between for the secret financing of the main political parties in France by African heads of state.
Testimony from others, notably that of Loïk Le Floch-Prigent, CEO of the Elf oil company, had already revealed the existence of such funding (see: “France: Elf verdicts reveal state corruption at highest levels”). Bourgi’s statements shed further light on the illegal activities of French officials in the country’s former colonies. They show for all to see the links between the French state and imperialist policy in Africa.
Bourgi details how he received large sums of money from the African politicians, which he handed over to then-president Jacques Chirac and former prime minister Dominique de Villepin. In the interview Bourgi says: “Through me … five African heads of state—Blaise Compaoré [Burkina Faso], Laurent Gbagbo [Ivory Coast], Denis Sassou Nguesso [Congo-Brazzaville] and, of course, Omar Bongo [Gabon]—contributed about $10 million for the 2002 [presidential] campaign.”
Bourgi often hid this cash in djembes, African drums. Further on in the interview, the lawyer explained that throughout the 1990s he collected funds from several African heads of state, including Zaire’s brutal dictator, Marshal Mobutu Sese Seko.
His account confirms the existence of corrupt networks linking up French banks, oil companies and the military with various African régimes. These networks continued functioning after decolonisation in order to plunder the African masses—and also help oppress the French working class, by contributing to the imposition of reactionary governments such as Chirac’s.
The best man at French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s wedding has been charged with misuse of public funds: here.
The New Scramble for Africa: here.
David Cameron was branded a warmonger today for advising the United Nations to embrace Nato-style military interventions to rid the world of “oppressive” governments: here.
Fighters allied to Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara were responsibe for summary executions and torture during recent post-election violence, an inquiry reported today: here.