Emperor Bokassa of the Central African Empire ordered and almostly certainly took part in the massacre of about a hundred schoolchildren in a Bangui prison in April, according to a report published by an Inter-African commission of legal experts on Wednesday (15 August).
GV troops marching in procession
SV Emperor Bokassa and his wife watching
GV children with placards and dancers in procession
GV effigy of Bokassa carried in procession
CU Bokassa speaking in French to newsmen
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Emperor Bokassa of the Central African Empire ordered and almostly certainly took part in the massacre of about a hundred schoolchildren in a Bangui prison in April, according to a report published by an Inter-African commission of legal experts on Wednesday (15 August). The five-man commission carried out investigations in Bangui following allegations made by the Human Rights group Amnesty International and the Central African Empire's ambassador to France. But the Commission's findings have been rejected by the Emperor's legal adviser Mandambo Borno who claimed that the report lacked credibility and furnished no proof that the Emperor took part in the alleged massacre.
SYNOPSIS: Emperor Bokassa has consistently denied that his security forces massacred scores of schoolchildren last April, though he has conceded that some youths were killed by troops during rioting.
But the report claims to have evidence that Bokassa participated in three massacres at Ngarba jail. Emperor Bokassa discussed these allegations with newsmen in the Rwandan capital Kigali last May. He said that people from several districts had been involved in armed clashes but no students were present. He added that a number of policemen were wounded and thirteen rioters were killed.
The Emperor told newsmen that was the situation in a nutshell, and that was what his ambassador to France had been referring to. When asked why then the Ambassador was resigning, the Emperor merely said the Ambassador was free to do as he pleased. The Emperor added: there were no eight-year old children killed, I assure you, I am Papa Bok, everyone calls me Papa Bok. But the Commission has collected statements from nearly two hundred people alleging that a number of children imprisoned for rioting against wearing school uniforms were killed in cold blood, and that the Emperor personally shot thirty-nine people in jail.