• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Bokassa Essay

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Central African Republic has had an eventful and difficult struggle in becoming a free nation. In 1966 a new leader took over the Central African Republic (CAR), making a change for the worse in the lives of the people of the Central African Republic. Jean-Bedel Bokassa was not a benevolent dictator; in fact he was the opposite, a cruel, deranged tyrant. He destroyed the CAR's economy through embezzlement, senseless spending and ruled with ruthlessness. There is even evidence to prove that he was a cannibal and feasted on his enemies. The CAR economy crumbled under Bokassa's rule due to his enormous greed. When he came into power in 1966 Bokassa attempted to reform the CAR's economy with 'Operation Bokassa', a plan that sought to create huge nationalised farms and industries (http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9080461/Jean-Bedel-Bokassa, 07/28/07). This implies that he cared and sought to improve the CAR and some will claim it was successful with one diplomat stating: "Things worked under Bokassa. The roads were good and the country was safe." (Cited in: Jones, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1454359.stm, 24 July 2001). Jones also says that many people credit him with establishing universities, sports stadiums and roads. This suggests that he treated the CAR's economy and citizens with care. Bokassa himself said on the subject: "In my country everybody calls me papa." (Cited in: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,946313,00.html, June 11 1979), demonstrating how the people saw he was watching over them as an almost father figure. However, this sunny view is opposed by Encyclopaedia Britannica (http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9080461/Jean-Bedel-Bokassa, 07/28/07) ...read more.

Middle

Another story told by a university professor states that Bokassa, "used to scoop up beggars in his plane and drop them into the Bangui river." (Cited in: Jones, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1454359.stm, 24 July 2001). The professor's story demonstrates how Bokassa saw people as dispensable; anyone causing a nuisance was removed. Criminals were punished harshly with Bokassa's 'three strikes and your out' regime. On first crime, an ear would be cut off, second, the other ear and third, a hand (Cawthorne, 2004, p182); they would also be beaten and tortured. This is corroborated by Appendix 1 which shows thieves with their ears cut off, and Appendix 2 which shows thieves being beaten. Thieves were also used as food for the crocodiles and lions in Bokassa's private zoo (Echoes from a Sombre Empire (Documentary), 1990). One year he celebrated mother's day by hanging all those arrested for crimes against women (Jean-B�del Bokassa Trial: 1986-87." Great World Trials. Edited by Edward W. Knappman. Gale Research, 1994.). This shows how Bokassa did not value the lives of others. There were also many innocent victims, including Marie-Rene Hassen, a woman who was forced into marrying Bokassa. When she refused his advances Marie and her family were sent to prison for two years until he came to her. She says he became a, "terrifying myth." And that one day she understood stating, "I had to give in if I wanted to be free." ...read more.

Conclusion

The ambassador also remembers how Bokassa would comment at dinner parties that he, "sometimes wondered whether his ambassadorial guests realized exactly what they were eating." (Dale, http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/archives_roll/2001_07-09/dale_cannibals/dale_cannibals.html, 26/07/07). Another source supports the ambassador and describes how Bokassa would order a minister killed then feed him to the other members of the cabinet and would only tell the guests after dinner (http://www.vor.ru/English/Footprints/excl_next882_eng.html, 2002). This evidence hints at but does not prove that Bokassa did indeed eat his citizens. But the solid evidence comes from Philippe Lengis, Bokassa's ex Chef who testified at Bokassa's trial that he did cook human flesh at Bokassa's demand (http://www.vor.ru/English/Footprints/excl_next882_eng.html, 2002). At the trial he was not convicted of cannibalism as President Andre Kolingba had declared amnesty for all misdemeanours committed during tenure of his predecessors (Jean-B�del Bokassa Trial: 1986-87." Great World Trials. Edited by Edward W. Knappman. Gale Research, 1994. Reproduced in History Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group) and he could therefore, not be charged. However; just because he was not charged of this crime does not mean he did not commit it, the evidence suggests that Bokassa was truly a cannibal and a virtual monster as well. In conclusion Bokassa destroyed the Central African Republic throughout his rule with his greed and insane behaviour, he devastated his citizen's lives with persistent violence, and he even ate his political enemies. Jean- Bedel Bokassa was not a benevolent dictator; he was the opposite, a cruel, malicious tyrant. Certainly without his self-indulgent rule the CAR would have been a far happier, safer and even wealthier country. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Ancient History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Ancient History essays

  1. Discussing the biblical historiography of images of the Jew in the ancinet world

    I will call the former 'categorists' and the latter 'contexualists' Categorists It is Humphreys argument that noting the similarities between the tales of Joseph, Esther, Mordechai, Daniel and Ahiqar is of central importance to the understanding of the court tale.

  2. Deterioration- An Essay on J.M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians

    At this point in the novel the Magistrate is at his most prosperous time. There is irony in this situation because the Magistrate is a respectable, noble man, however he is infatuated with the thought of this scarred, and broken barbarian woman.

  1. Ancient History essay:

    in 1875."4 Effectively, Schliemann has had a considerable influence on future archaeologists through his methods, discoveries, and excavations, as well as Ancient History, which has greatly benefited from his work. King goes on to question the "archaeological integrity" of Schliemann's finds, as he believes that Schliemann tampered with the integrity

  2. "Rather than establishing unity and harmony, religious developments have caused division and conflic

    The Spanish Muslims were to become the victims of persecution too. The genesis of the persecution of these people can be identified as the Granada crusade, instigated by Isabella once she had secured her place on the throne. Castilian and Aragonese armies invaded Granada in 1482, starting off a ten

  1. The Roman World 509 B.C. To A.D. 180

    The Senate was noticeably inefficient in carrying on foreign conflicts, but its most serious weakness was its inability to solve the economic and social problems following in the wake of Rome's conquests. Reform Movement Of The Gracchi An awareness of Rome's profound social and economic problems led to the reform program of an idealistic young aristocrat named Tiberius Gracchus.

  2. In this project, we would like to present to you our findings and research ...

    Xi Shi being a filial daughter took to seeking employment as a silk washer, or 'huansha n�(???)' so lighten the family's financial burden. She often dreamed of being a lady of high rank, donning elegant apparel and living in a majestic mansion surrounded by admiring people, and she was well aware that her greatest asset was her beauty.

  1. Roman Sports

    It could seat approximately 150 000 viewers while modern racing venues can support up to 300 000 spectators. Roman circuses would have been very ornate, they would have statues and wall paintings which I would have loved to have seen.

  2. The Romans loved entertainment. Indeed Emperors used entertainment deliberately in order to stop them ...

    It also left no incentive for farmers to increase productivity, since more products equalled more taxes. As a result, farmers didn't raise enough food for all Rome's citizens, and they had little money to spend and contribute to the local economy.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work