French neo-colonialism and African dictatorships

Former French colonies and countries like Mobutu's Congo with French influence, in blueBy 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.

Progressive parties wrested the French Senate from President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) and its neoliberal allies in indirect elections on Sunday: here. And 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.

11 thoughts on “French neo-colonialism and African dictatorships

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  3. Three opposition protesters die

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    About 30 others were wounded in an opposition protest when police fired tear gas whaile protesters set up burning barricades on roads and threw rocks.

    Opposition leader Andre Mba Obame returned this weekend from 14 months of self-imposed exile in France.


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  6. 50 years ago: Three-day uprising in Congo-Brazzaville

    From August 13 to August 15, 1963 a series of strikes and riots rocked Congo-Brazzaville (formerly the French Congo and subsequently the Republic of the Congo). The uprising came to be known as the Trois Glorieuses, or Three Glorious Days, a reference to the July Revolution of 1830 in France. The former French colony had become independent only three years earlier.

    The uprising began on August 12 among workers and unemployed who demonstrated for higher pay and the release of political and labor prisoners against anti-communist President Fulbert Youlou, a former Catholic priest. Soldiers opened fire on one demonstration, killing three. On August 13 striking workers in the former French colony’s capital city, Brazzaville, marched on the prison and forced the release of all inmates. Five were killed in the storming of the prison, as demonstrators braved live ammunition and grenade fire. On August 14 the homes of unpopular ministers were torched.

    On August 15—the third anniversary of independence—Youlou was forced to resign after the military refused his orders to fire on demonstrators who surrounded the presidential palace. He was replaced by Alphonse Massamba-Debat on August 16. The deal with the military was brokered by the Congolese Youth Union, and the trade union, the Confédération générale aéfienne du travail, both of which formerly had ties to the French Communist Party. Youlou had attempted to suppress both organizations.


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