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FrancAfrique, 26 Years After Sankara Was Killed, French Pen on DRC, Mali & CAR

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 15 -- Twenty six years ago today, Thomas Sankara was overthrown and killed in a coup led by Blaise Compaore, who still holds on as Burkina Faso's president.

  It was under Sankara that the country's name change from "Upper Volta" to Burkina Faso, land of the upright. History records two meetings of Sankara and France's Francois Mitterand. At the Vittel conference, Mitterand stared stony-faced ahead as Sankara spoke of seeking foreign relations with countries beyond France.

  And later, after South African apartheid leader Pieter Botha had visited France, Sankara criticized Mitterand to his face in Ouagadougou, after Mitterand drove through the streets waving at the crowd. Soon the Compaore coup would kill Sankara, and France and Boigny would congratulate Compaore. The rest is history.

  How different is it, really, when Francois Hollande is driven through Bamako, or now Laurent Fabius through Bangui? How much time has been wasted, how much of FrancAfrique under-developed and by design?  Sure, Sankara had some idea that didn't work. But could the Central African Republic be any worse off than it has been under France?

 And new colonies, too: France has laid claim to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, controlling the Security Council's recent trip there, down to which media could go on the "UN" plane.

  France for over sixteen years has controlled UN Peacekeeping, now most outrageously through Herve Ladsous, twice spurned, who was France's Ambassador to the UN during the Rwanda genocide, arguing for the escape of genocidaires into Eastern Congo.

  Consider that on the Security Council France "holds the pen," drafts first and thus controls, the following files: Burundi, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Great Lakes, Mali. Plus ca change.

 What has been accomplished, for example for CAR? What would Thomas Sankara say? On this day, and going forward, we must ask. Watch this site.


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